Skype creators developing new "˜disruptive technology'

18 Oct 2006

(The Business (London) via NewsEdge) Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom threw the telecom industry into freefall by introducing free Internet voice service Skype. They also shook up the music industry with free Internet song-sharing service Kazaa.

Now the pair is developing another disruptive technology aimed at the new Internet TV market. Called Internet television, and also known as Internet protocol television (IPTV), it offers video from a browser in the same way that search engines list Web pages. The service may eventually eliminate the need for broadcasters and television schedules.

Through the service, codenamed "Venice Project," Friis and Zennstrom plan to offer free high-quality, full-screen TV programs and videos over the Internet.

The service is understood to have already undergone successful trial, and is set to be launched simultaneously with that of UK telco BT's Internet TV service, BT Vision.

All users have to do is install a piece of software that enables them to access the service and content providers will be able to access tools to upload content to the site.

Friis and Zennstrom are not planning to duplicate the peer-to-peer model that has caused so much controversy in the music industry. While the service will be free, the "Venice Project" is designed to work within the intellectual property rights system and not against it.

Unlike Kazaa, Venice is not a file-sharing system. Videos are streamed to the users' computers and the data does not become a permanent file on the user's system.

© 2006 The Business

© 2006 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved

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