Metcalfe Vouches for Video
Even when he's explaining a statement that's not controversial, Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe has a way of stirring things up.
"I've been saying video is the next big thing for some years now and I don't consider it controversial," Metcalfe says during his second interview with LRTV in less than a year. (See Bob Metcalfe, Partner, Polaris Ventures.)
He says it's "obvious the next big thing is video on the Internet and it will just take 10 or 15 years to reengineer the whole Internet so it can carry video in its many forms."
So he's talking about IPTV, right? Not really. Metcalfe says that although television is a form of video, non-televised video will have the biggest potential and will be one of the Internet's "biggest surprises."
"One of the strengths of the Internet is merchandising, and the way we'll sell video merchandising will be an application, video mail, video conferencing, video telephone, video in ways we've yet to imagine," Metcalfe tells LRTV.
Metcalfe, even as a venture partner at Polaris Venture Partners , isn't afraid to say what a lot of people are thinking. When asked if deals such as eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) buying Skype Ltd. are an indicator of more investment hype, Metcalfe let fly with this gem: "I'm looking forward to the next Internet bubble. I don't know what everyone’s so negative about. The last bubble was lots of fun."
So what bets is Metcalfe making to take advantage of the coming "video Internet"? He and Polaris have stakes in companies such as Silicon Optics Inc. , which makes video processing chips for screen displays, and Mintera Corp. , which makes 40-Gbit/s optical transport devices for the network's core, to name a couple.
But he also notes that with more video consumed in more places, the number of cameras will increase, the number of video screens will explode, and consumer software, as we know it now, will have to change to address more video applications. (See Full Transcript of LRTV's Interview With Bob Metcalfe, Inventor of Ethernet and Metcalfe Places Broadband Bets.)
"There'll be new operating systems required; the clunkers we have, you know Windows and Linux, are 25 years old -- they're going to need updating to adequately carry video," Metcalfe says. "What they're doing now is lame."
Now tell us how you really feel...
— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading