Here is a quick bit we missed in our time off last week. Google snatched up Gizmo5, a company that provides Internet-based calling software for mobile phones and computers. This doesn’t necessarily mean Google Voice will offer VOIP calling, but I think everyone knows it is eventually coming. The carriers are going to fight it, but they will eventually become dumb pipes just like our ISPs.
The main Gizmo5 site is currently down, but you can see what they were offering before the Google acquisition by visiting the dev site. Gizmo5 services included voice calls, instant messaging, file sharing, SMS, and video calls. Google is reporting the Gizmo5′s engineers will be joining the Google Voice team to continue improving the Google Voice experience.
I truly believe video calls from smartphones will be the next big thing and it could happen in 2010. The carriers are beefing up their networks (see T-Mobile’s HSPA 7.2) and will have the bandwidth to support such a service. The only thing we are missing are phones with front facing cameras and those are starting to appear.
Are we really ready for hand held video calls next year?