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Confirmed: Airtime video chatting works in the air... on Gogo in-flight internet!

Darren Murph
06.05.12
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"Whoa! Whoa! Are you on a spaceship? Seriously, are you on a spaceship?!"

Those words came flowing -- enthusiastically, I might add -- from an anonymous Airtimer just today, on the launch of Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning's Airtime project. "I'm actually on an airplane," I replied. "Where are you headed?," he responded. "LA!," as I tried to keep the conversation going. I failed to get to the part about continuing on to San Francisco, but it mattered not -- I just confirmed that Airtime does indeed work in airplanes. On a packed-to-capacity flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles, the onboard Gogo connection held up decently enough to have a relatively meaningful conversation (and eventually, for me to post this very article). The video feeds were a bit bumpy -- not completely unlike the ride itself -- but audio was fairly crisp. We shot the breeze for a minute or so before waving goodbye, two complete strangers brought together for the sake of discovering what's possible.

I never engaged in any late-night Chatroulette sessions, so the first-time Airtime experience was quite the surreal one -- particularly given that I was somewhere high over the New Mexican mountains. If I had to guess, I'd say it's just a matter of time before Airtime is funneled into that same black hole as Skype, making it impossible to complete a call whilst onboard; but for now, the tunnels are wide open. The friendly skies never felt so friendly.

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