Remember back in the dark days before the Internet arrived, when you wanted to make an international phone call? First, you had to take out a bank loan to pay the extortionate charges that your phone company wanted to charge you. Then you dialed your number, and after getting cut off a few times, you finally manage to get through to the other caller. But they sounded so far away, as if they were underground, and the crackling on the line reminded you of an old gramophone record playing. And being able to see them on screen? Forget it. That was firmly in science-fiction futuristic land, in shows and movies like Star Trek and Star Wars.
But now, things have all changed, thanks to a company called Skype, and the rise of technology called VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). This allows you to speak over the Internet for either free or for very low cost, and video calls are now as common as muck. They are being used in so many different ways. For example, a few years back, before I joined MakeUseOf, I was using Skype to give English lessons to foreign students all over the world. The teacher (me) was here in Germany but my students could be either in Italy, Austria or Thailand. Another frequent use of Skype is that the armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq are using it to keep in touch with their families back home.
Our infographic today shows the rise of Skype and how it is being used today. Let us know in the comments if you have a unique use for it, and where you see the technology heading in the future.
Infographic Source: www.online-education.net
Image Source: CC Chapman
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