2010: The Year of Skype?

Skype is finally spun off from eBay and owns its own intellectual property. They’re already expanding to integrate with business phone systems and now they’re working with TV manufacturers to put Skype into “smart” TVs.

Imagine: 720p live videoconferencing from your TV, no computer required. And let’s be clear: we’re talking about Skype being built-in to your TV as a feature that’s one button away, not through some set-top box. What will it mean when you can have a high-quality videoconferencing system easy enough for the grandparents and kids?

Check out this introductory video from Skype to get a sense of what they’re announcing:

http://download.skype.com/share/videos/player.swf

I already do occasional video chat sessions with family and friends thousands of miles away and it works pretty darn well (via both Skype and iChat). Make video calling a reality from home and traditional TV just met its latest threat to time that used to be spent passively consuming video media.

We already know 2010 will be the year of the tablet (via Apple and other players, but mostly Apple). It could also be the year Skype breaks past geek niche product into the mainstream.