I got a new webcam today, and immediately discovered the coolness of streaming icons in iChat. Now in iChat, your icon gets attached to each thing you say, like in a cartoon conversation. You can change your icon as often as you like and doing so changes all the icons in the chats you’re having. So as often happens, Elin and I had a chat window open the whole evening (her afternoon), while I wrote a press release, spoke with Scott and texted with Torill, talked with my Dad on the phone, did the dishes and read both elucidating and silly websites.

My icon changed a lot. And Elin took screenshots [right now you need to look at the main page to see the pics, she’ll fix that soon, no doubt]. It’s quite striking how differently the text comes across with the different icons. Oh, if you can’t quite read it, don’t worry, the bit Elin’s made public is quite inane.

I love Elin’s idea of a remake of iChat that freezes icons to their speech bubbles to tie the visual image to the words expressed. Ooh.

2 thoughts on “streaming faces

  1. Robert

    I love Elin’s idea of a remake of iChat that freezes icons to their speech bubbles to tie the visual image to the words expressed. Ooh.

    That seems the logical way to do it. I’m surprised that’s not how it works atm.

  2. Elin

    I thought about it after I posted – it poses some technical challenges. When should the image freeze, for instance? When you hit enter to send your IM? When should it be streaming?
    If you just hit send and freeze the image – and you aren’t typing a new line so that the streaming icon comes on – no images would be streaming at all. The webcam effect would be lost.
    I guess the developers didn’t have time to consider ways of building in all the functionality that is needed to both freeze and stream the icons. It could be done, though, with a little interface tweaking!

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