Skype has been a revolutionary force in the communications field ever since it's beginning in 2003. Today Skype is available on PC's, mobiles and even TV sets. However we want to take it further and bring the Skype voice and video calls to the whole growing universe of connected devices, including tablets, game consoles, photo frames, cars, wristwatches and gadgets yet to be imagined.
Skype announces the SkypeKit Beta Program (http://developer.skype.com), a collection of software and APIs that allows almost any Internet-connected device, application, or web site to offer Skype voice and video calling. It represents an incredible opportunity for developers and device manufacturers, who can now build Skype into their products.
We have given developers a version of SkypeKit tailored to device manufacturers, and later this year we plan to roll out SkypeKit versions compatible with desktop and Web applications. Developers who use SkypeKit will be officially "Plugged into Skype," a descriptor that signals to consumers that their products offer Skype functionality.
Tomorrow, at the CEA In Line show in New York City, Jonathan Christensen will deliver a keynote speech to consumer electronics industry players and further discuss the program and what it means for them.
In the meantime, if you have questions about SkypeKit, please see the Q&A below provided below.
If you require any further details or would like comment from Skype about this, please do not hesitate to contact us on the details supplied at the bottom of this mail.
What is SkypeKit?
SkypeKit is a collection of software and APIs that allows virtually any Internet connected device or application to offer Skype voice and video calls.
What is your goal with SkypeKit?
Our goal is to unleash Skype from the desktop so that third party device manufacturers and developers can embed it into consumer electronics devices, Web sites, and desktop applications.
Who is SkypeKit for?
Our Beta release of SkypeKit is designed for consumer electronics manufacturers. In subsequent phases, we will add versions for desktop software providers and web publishers.
Why aren't web and software developers able to use Skype Kit now?
Our experience partnering with CE manufacturers -- on products like Skype on Your TV - makes hardware a natural place to start. Our invited beta testers can now enjoy access to a Linux desktop version of SkypeKit, and soon we'll give them Windows and Mac versions. The Web version of SkypeKit comes further down the road.
What's in it for third-party developers and device partners?
Third-party developers can now embed Skype's premium quality calling functionality in their own products, distinguishing their offerings from competitors. Skype's brand allows developers to tap into Skype's base of 560 million registered users. In addition, Skype will provide marketing opportunities for "Plugged into Skype" products in our heavily trafficked Skype Store.
Didn't Skype have a set of public APIs before, and what's the difference with Skype Kit?
The longstanding Skype Public API is a great solution for accessories such as headsets and webcams that connect to Skype's standard desktop clients. But for years, developers have been screaming for a solution that works WITHOUT a Skype desktop application. Enter SkypeKit. Think of SkypeKit as a "headless" version of Skype - that is, a Skype client with no user interface that runs invisibly, not only on PCs, but also TVs, notebooks, and other connected devices. Developers communicate with SkypeKit through the SkypeKit API, surfacing Skype calls through their own applications.
Where do I go to sign up or get more information?
You can get more information or sign up for the SkypeKit Beta Program membership at http://developer.skype.com, though keep in mind, we will activate registrations on an invitation only basis during our beta period.