IN ONE OF those surprising cultural twists, Skype has announced that it is to halt its apps for smart TVs citing a lack of uptake.
Most futurists that Roland Moore-Colyer hasn't threatened to set on fire predict that the idea of families talking to families would be a big draw, but in reality few brands have taken up the service in their products and fewer still have bought the add-on kit offered by Skype.
As such, Microsoft will cut support for Skype on TV from 2 June, and Samsung has already confirmed that it will ditch the service. Other manufacturers have the option to continue providing it as an unsupported offering, but it is unlikely that many will.
The removal of Skype on TV is one of those strange quirks of history where science fact has steered far away from science fiction.
The idea of video calling on wall-mounted TVs is a mainstay of so many sixties and seventies TV programmes and predictions of the future. However, in reality we've gone down the route of second screening, with tablets and laptops working alongside the TV rather than integrating with it.
The Skype blog explained: "Since 2010, Skype has delivered a great calling experience in the living room in partnership with several TV manufacturers. But over the years, users have changed the way they use Skype and the majority access it from a mobile device, including when in the living room.
"We want to make sure we prioritise delivering the best possible experience to the platforms our users ask for, which is why we’ve decided to focus our efforts on other areas while supporting key functionality on Skype for TV for as long as possible."
Video calling has never really taken off in the way that anyone expected. We've looked at the reasons for this in previous articles, but it's worthy of note that Skype recently introduced free group calling to mobile devices and this may well have been the last nail in the coffin as people prefer to engage with multiple one-on-one contacts than have to tidy the crap in the living room.
These things have a habit of coming around again, so expect it to be announced as a brand new feature that has just been invented, probably during an Apple keynote in 2022. µ
'Some of us like the misery'
That'll surely affect its credit score
Smarter than your average pair of smart glasses
9.8-rated vuln hasn't yet been fixed