If a patent filed by Microsoft is anything to go by — and these things are not always reliable indicators of what is actually going to happen, or when they might happen — Skype users could see the addition of a live annotation feature in future versions. This is something that will be of particular interest to business users who turn to Skype for teleconferencing and remote meetings, as it would provide a halfway house between a remote presentation tool and a video chat client.
While voice and video chats are incredibly useful, there are times when it can be helpful to be able to draw a design, sketch out an idea or otherwise illustrate something you are trying to say. This is precisely where live annotation will come into its own. The patent suggests that the annotation feature could be used with both desktop and mobile versions of the service, so it is something that chatters on the move would also be able to take advantage of.
But of course there is also a great deal of scope for the average home user. It could lead to the creation of interactive, real-time drawing games, and many other entertaining add-ons for the chat software.
Another feature mentioned in the patent is “video snapshot”. This would enable a single video stream to be viewed by all of the participants in a chat, and the annotation feature could be used at the same time.
According to Patent Bolt, the patent was originally filed back in the second half of 2012, but details have only just been released by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Do you like the sound of these features? What nifty applications can you think of for them?Further reading: Microsoft, Skype