fring, maker of the popular communications aggregation application by the same name, today announced that it has enabled video calls over Wi-Fi on the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as on some Nokia devices. The development is described as the first of its kind in the United States.
The video feature operates within the fring application, which enables free voice calls from the iPhone and iPod Touch to other fring users, Skype and GTalk buddies as well as friends on regular phone lines via Skype-Out and other SIP services. fring users can live chat, update profiles, share files and talk with friends from several Instant Messaging services like MSN, AIM, GoogleTalk and Skype, in addition to interacting with popular online social networks like Twitter, all from one integrated fring contact list.
The new fring version with video call support is currently available to users with iPhone/ iPod touch OS 3.0. However, for iPhone users, only incoming video streams will work due to the position of that device’s camera on the back of the phone. Nokia Symbian S60 devices, on the other hand, will support two-way video streaming.
Video calling has long been the coveted next step in the evolution of mobile communications. However, carriers have signaled that for the time being, at least, such services will be a relegated to Wi-Fi for the strain that widespread streaming video can place on the network.