If video calling isn’t an intimate enough way of keeping in touch, maybe seeing your friends’ faces in high-definition will help. Today, Skype announced its high-definition service, at 720p resolution and 30 frames per second, is ready for prime time. Although Skype isn’t charging for this higher resolution, the hardware and software requirements are fairly steep: an HD webcam, 1.8-GHz dual-core processor, and the beta version of Skype 4.2.
At the same time, two companies: faceVsion and In Store Solutions announced HD webcams that are optimized to work with Skype’s high-definition calling service. faceVsion’s FV TouchCam N1 webcam costs $69 or $99 depending on whether you buy it with a mic or not, while In Touch Solutions’, the Freetalk HD Pro and Freetalk HD Pro Plus, cost $120 and $140, respectively. These will ship early this year.
Finally, not content to settle for 720p resolution on laptops, Skype announced partnerships with LG and Panasonic to integrate Skype software into the companies’ televisions by mid-2010.