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Sony i1 has integrated Facebook social casting

Looking at people while you talk to them is a dubious pleasure. A quick straw poll around the various KitGuru offices reveals that many of us have had video call capability built into our phones for a long while – but never really use it. Then along came Apple. And now Sony with the i1.

The first time you make contact with a friend on the other side of the planet with Facetime on an iPad feels like a true miracle.

The call is free (data only on a broadband connection), the video quality good and the experience silk smooth. You can pop in and out of the video part of the call to find documents, search the web etc – all the while continuing your conversation.

With close to 70,000 ‘Likes’ and up to 20,000 conversations at any one time, no one has to tell KitGuru about the joys of Facebook – but what will it become in the future?

A key question for investors will be “How will Zuckerberg & Co take the social revolution forward in the coming years?”

Just as Twitter will be encouraging more and more 6 second ‘motion picture’ tweets, so will Facebook become ever more multimedia enabled, with several kinds of ‘social cast’ no doubt ready to explode on the world as we prepare to embrace 4G.

Without video streaming, why would we need 4G?   The telco operators like Vodafone (whom Sony visited last week in Newbury), need a way for regular customers to SMASH their way past any inclusive data packages – so that profits may ramp up to counteract the cost of the 4G licence in the first place. No point in having the big, phat pipe if folks are paying the skinny money.

Which brings us to the Sony i1 – due to launch in August 2013.

Demolition Man looked quite futuristic in 1993, but - 20 years on - Stalone's version of live video has missed the mark by some distance
Demolition Man looked quite futuristic in 1993, but – 20 years on – Stalone’s video vision has missed the mark by some distance

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Alongside the 20 megapixel camera and 61fps video recording capabilities that KitGuru reported on last week, we’ve now heard that Sony will include some very cleaver Facebook ‘social casting video’ technologies inside the i1.

All good stuff and, surely, one of the biggest threats to YouTube as the goto place for uploading your daft videos.

Why upload to YouTube and send a link, when you can include a load of friends into a live stream of exactly what you’re doing/seeing – as you’re doing it and seeing it?

At the low end of the spectrum, we can expect groups of drunken youngsters to get themselves into serious trouble in record time – while at the serious end, news gathering around the world might be set for a mini-revolution.

Sony's i1 social networking video capability will allow KitGuru to keep in contact with fans across the globe
Sony’s i1 new social networking video capability would allow KitGuru to keep in contact with geeks across the globe

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KitGuru says: It would take a miracle from Sony’s smartphone development team to raise the company’s pitiful showing in the market and reverse its recent slump – but maybe the August launch for the i1 can bring enough features into play for Sony to target 6 or even 7% market share by the end of the year. Maybe.

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