Can’t make it to work? Skype could soon beam in your 3D body-double

Web telephone service developing new technology

Heather Saul,Will Gant
Friday 30 August 2013 02:06

The web telephone service Skype has confirmed it has developed the technology to create 3D video calls, which could allow workers to send body doubles to work in the distant future.

Mark Gillett, corporate vice-president for Skype, announced teams had been working with state-of-the-art tools in order to capture 3D footage.

“We’ve seen a lot of progress in screens, and a lot of people now buy TVs and computer monitors that are capable of delivering a 3D image,” he told the BBC.

“We have it in the lab, we know how to make it work, and we’re looking at the ecosystem of devices and their capability to support it in order to make a decision when we might think about bringing something like that to market,” he added. Skype posted an advert in April that suggested it was looking to develop technology that would allow it to create body-doubles for employees unable to attend work meetings.

The ad said it wanted a system “that gives the remote worker a true seat at the table, the ability to look around the room, turn to a colleague and have a side conversation.

“Longer-term, this same platform will enable high-definition communication scenarios for consumers over Skype,” it said.

The news comes a month after the BBC announced it was ditching 3D as a medium following a two-year trial. It ran a pilot scheme in which it televised a number of programmes in 3D, including Strictly Come Dancing and the ceremonies for the Olympics, last year.

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