Skype Releases SkypeKit SDK, Wants the Future of Communication

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Today, Skype has officially released SkypeKit into limited beta. SkypeKit is a suite of tools and APIs that allow developers to integrate Skype functionality — read: voice and video calling — into any number of internet-connected devices and products. That’s right; Skype is now poising themselves to be a standard among video chat solutions that can make it past your computer and mobile phone and into whatever the developer and/or consumer wants.

Up until now, Skype integration has been handled either internally or through the Skype public API for things like headphones and televisions. Now it’s open season. According to TechCrunch:

The initial release of SkypeKit is targeted at consumer electronics companies and desktop app developers. SkypeKit supports Linux now and in a few weeks Windows and Mac support will come out as well. As TVs, digital picture frames, and other consumer devices become linked to the Internet and get cameras and screens, they will become good candidates for adding Skype functionality.

Included with the SDK is the SILK audio codec, which Skype is releasing royalty-free in order to make it a strong contender for common standard. And with all this being only the beginning, it’s clear Skype wants your eyes and ears when mobile video chat really starts to take off. Tablet PCs and mobile operating systems are the obvious first stop, as the program is already a presence on the iPhone, Android phones, and those natty little netbooks. One does wonder how Apple might feel about this announcement as it comes on the heels of iOS4’s impressive thought less-than-fully-realized FaceTime. But the question remains in both Skype and developers’ able hands just how far things will go.

[via TNW, TechCrunch, Skype]

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