Skype confirms development of 3D video calls, but bemoans lack of suitable cameras

Just as the rest of the world is seemingly shying away from 3D in the home, Skype has revealed that it has developed the technology necessary to offer stereoscopic video calls. However, we may not get the service any time soon as the required technology is "not there yet". 

Speaking to the BBC, Microsoft's corporate vice-president for Skype Mark Gillett explained that although the ability to transmit and receive 3D video over the service is possible, current capture technology is not good enough.

"We've done work in the labs looking at the capability of 3D-screens and 3D-capture," he said.

"We've seen a lot of progress in screens and a lot of people now buy TVs and computer monitors that are capable of delivering a 3D image, but the capture devices are not yet there. As we work with that kind of technology you have to add multiple cameras to your computer, precisely calibrate them and point them at the right angle.

"We have it in the lab, we know how to make it work and we're looking at the ecosystem of devices and their capability to support it in order to make a decision when we might think about bringing something like that to market."

That might even be a barrier to ever seeing 3D video over Skype, as technology manufacturers might decide that there is not enough interest in the format. Although film studios have ramped up the release of 3D Blu-rays of late, the BBC has confirmed that it will not be investing any more money into stereoscopic television programming after the Doctor Who special airs later this year. Disney's ESPN channel in the States will also drop its 3D service.

Gillett claims that we're more likely to see Full HD 1080p Skype video calls before 3D ones. The company is working on introducing the standard to all devices, not just the Xbox One.