Engineers at Skype have been working on 3D video calls, though it is unlikely to offer it to users for some time. The future video technology is revealed at the same time as Microsoft shows how Skype's audio codec is being employed in the Xbox One game console to provide higher-quality voice chat, when compared to the Xbox 360.
Speaking to the BBC as part of a 10th anniversary interview, Skype vice president Mark Gillett revealed that 3D calls are being looked at. "We've done work in the labs looking at the capability of 3D-screens and 3D-capture," said Gillett, continuing "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." Gillet warns "the capture devices are not yet there," citing the need for multiple cameras and precise calibration. "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."
While 3D calling is still some time away, Gillett said that Skype is still working on how to provide 1080p "super-high definition" video calls to devices, aside from the Xbox One, considering the need for bandwidth and processing power. He also suggested that the Sony PlayStation 4 could get Skype in the future, considering its use on the PlayStation Portable and PS Vita. "We're obviously not party to their pre-release [PlayStation] hardware road map [but] we're committed to cross-platform" said Gillett.
Xbox spokesman Larry Hyrb, known as Major Nelson, released two audio samples of the same speech, with the version said to be from the Xbox One's audio seemingly clearer than that of the Xbox 360. The console is said to have a rendering sample rate of 24KHz PCM, three times that of the Xbox 360, as well as a 50-percent capture rate improvement over earlier headsets.