Grandma’s on the Computer Screen: Webcams keeping far-flung families virtually within touch

… Video calling, long anticipated by science fiction, is filtering into everyday use. And two demographic groups not particularly known for being high-tech are among the earliest adopters.In a way that even e-mailed photos never could, the Web cam promises to transcend both distance and the inability of toddlers to hold up their end of a phone conversation.Some grandparent enthusiasts say this latest form of virtual communication makes the actual separation harder. Others are so sustained by Web cam visits with services like Skype and iChat that they visit less in person. And no one quite knows what it means to a generation of 2-year-olds to have slightly pixelated versions of their grandparents as regular fixtures in their lives.But at a time when millions of people around the world are beginning to beam themselves across the ether, the Web cam adventures of the nursery school set and their grandparents offer a glimpse at what can be gained — and what may be lost — by almost-being there.
http://nytimes.com/2008/11/27/us/27minicam.html
http://iht.com/articles/2008/11/27/america/webcam.php

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