Does The Average Person Want Voice 2.0?
David Beckemeyer asks the musical question: Where Are The Voice 2.0 Developers? He’s right about that. Clearly there is a ton of me too offerings out there. Few people, if any, really understand what Voice 2.0 really means (I hate that term), let alone understand the full power that David is offering with his PhoneGnome API.
The vast majority of the public doesn’t really understand Voice 2.0. It’s been an uphill battle getting people to adopt things like Skype, which is looking more and more like a telco every day. Or one of any number of other extensions to the voice calling experience. People still primarily use either their landline or mobile phone. And even if they’re willing to try something else, the vast majority only understand dial tone. If I can use it like a normal phone, that’s cool. That’s why Vonage and the cable companies have so many customers! All these other “extra” features? Most people simply don’t care.
Even myself, as a VoIP user and early adopter, I have reverted back to using my mobile phone to attend the various conference calls I attend for work. From time to time, I will try and use Skype or Gizmo Project to attend a call. With Skype’s seeming inability to deal with DMTF properly and general upstream issues I have with Gizmo (and possibly Skype as well), I can’t have a decent sounding conversation.
I could go on and on here about how beyond a small percentage of early adopters who look for all the latest and greatest features, the rest of humanity is content to use their phone service as it is now. The exception to that rule is that people are willing to try making their calls through an alternate path if it is significantly cheaper and not substantially different from the normal telco experience. My wife isn’t even willing to go that far.
Now I’m not saying we shouldn’t continue to progress in the Voice 2.0 direction. However, until a critical mass of people or businesses grok Voice 2.0 and begin to clamor for it, it’s going to be an uphill battle for folks like David Beckemeyer.