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Cingular to demo video-sharing service

Cingular Wireless said Friday that it plans to demonstrate a new video-sharing service next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The new service, which won't be commercially available until later in the year, will allow callers to send live video streams to other Cingular Wireless subscribers using video-compatible phones.

The way it will work is a caller will hit a button to activate the live video stream when he is talking on a normal voice call. The live video stream will be added, allowing the person on the other of the call to see what is going on around the caller while he's talking. The audio portion of the call will work through an embedded speakerphone. The service also allows customers to switch the direction of the video stream during the same phone call.

Of course not every Cingular customer will be able to use the service once it's launched. Both parties will need a new 3G phone that has Video-Share enabled on it. And because the service operates over Cingular's 3G wireless network, each party will also have to be in a 3G coverage area for the service to work.