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Skype booth lands in Estonia airport

posted 6 Apr 2011, 09:41 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 6 Apr 2011, 09:44 ]
The world's first Skype video booth has been installed at Tallinn International Airport, in the same city where the popular internet calling service was built.
ESTONIA-SKYPE BOOTH - It is already one of Europe's best known tech success stories...now it's introduced a new way to connect in a place that's all about connections.

The internet calling service Skype was founded by a Swedish duo, but built in the Estonian capital of Tallinn.

Now the city's airport is home to the first ever Skype video calling booth.

Merlin Parli of Enterprise Estonia says the electronic innovation is essentially a marketing vehicle to advertise the country's e-friendly credentials.

 REPRESENTATIVE OF "ENTERPRISE ESTONIA," MERLIN PARLI, SAYING:

"We have e-government, we have e-elections, we have e-school, we have e-health and so on and now we also have the first Skype booth. We already give our knowledge to other countries, so we are definitely one of the most developed e-countries in the world."

Inspiration for the look of the booth came from the popular film "Avatar" though of course it was Estonian designers who built it.

The visual portal features a 22-inch touch screen and a webcam.

 Kaisa Kaivik, saying

"I just called my mother and I think it's a great thing to have it here."

Ivar Lips, Saying 

"Whenever you are not using your computer or phone, I suppose nowadays it's a nice addition to have around."

Like the basic Skype service, the booth is free to use.

Rait Minumets works for Adtech, an advertising company that helped with the design.

Adtech Partner, Rait Minumets, saying:

"Sometimes even if you have a cell phone you can also use Skype but it costs a lot, you have to enter all kind of data, buy some credits or like this. But here you can do it in two minutes, the call. So, it's really easy."

Ambitious expansion plans are already being discussed. Similar booths could start showing up in hotels, shopping malls, bus stations and even hospitals. Of course, Estonia will be the starting point...but other countries could eventually follow.

Matt Cowan, Reuters.

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