Once it would have been a miracle of science - a Thunderbirds
fantasy - but now it is just a small vision of the near future.
My wife, Benita, is currently visiting her family in Chile
for a month with our two daughters.
That's a long way away - 20 hours to fly and more airmiles
than you can spit at.
But with all the mod cons of a cheap computer and a £50
webcam from Office World we're only a few bits apart.
It had taken a few trials and several errors - but tonight we
got it all working hunky-dory.
They could see me - I could see them. They could hear me - I
could hear them ... and my echo, echo, echo.
We waved and we whistled. We laughed and we blew kisses.
Ellie who is one looked on in awe. For Mivi it was not her
first time - she'd used the video link with me here between our
home and the office.
So what's the big deal - it will just be part of the
furniture when they grow up.
But still Mivi loved it - she hadn't been able to speak with
daddy and see him at the same time for two weeks.
"Tu papa!" exclaimed Mivi's Spanish-speaking
"No, it's my daddy" corrected Mivi firmly.
I guess the next version of the WebCam will need the
auto-translator upgrade installed.
Then it was time to say goodbye and poor Mivi began to cry.
Poor little Mivi - it's a funny world she lives in.
Remember the future begins one second from now - it's only a
tear drop away.