One of my favorite parts of a 2001: A Space Odyssey is when David Bowman receives a secret video message from headquarters revealing the true nature of his mission. Now, in the very real world of emerging space tourism and the global Internet, what once was a piece of science fiction is now an actual product, thanks to Skype.
Skype announced the feature, which had been in beta, as a update to its existing service, allowing users to send and receive free video messages starting today. In addition to being free, the service works on most platforms including Windows, Android, Mac and iOS, and BlackBerry. The "free" part is actually a pretty big deal when you consider that, next to YouTube, Skype could quickly become the biggest repository of personal videos in the cloud.
So far, messages are limited to three minutes each and can be previewed and deleted before sending. Interestingly, the phone being used in the demo video is an iPhone, an odd choice considering Skype-owner Microsoft's recent pummeling of the iPhone in commercials. You can see the new Skype video message feature in action in the video below.