Did you ever wonder why hearing someone talking loudly on their cell phone is more annoying than hearing two people have a conversation? My theory is that hearing just one half of a conversation triggers some kind of dissonant "does not compute" vibe in your brain, and the result is irritation.
I find engaging in video chats similarly irritating, as I hunch down and attempt to interact with a shrunken version of one of my friends on a laptop screen, sans eye contact. All nonverbal nuance is lost (not to mention timing, if you have a crappy connection).
A research lab at Japanese telecommunications giant NTT is working on a better way to present videoconferences, at least as far as the nonverbal communication goes, by implementing such basic physical changes to the interface that you almost wonder why no one thought of this earlier. For one, they're using a large screen with a blown-up image, so you're talking to a human-sized face rather than a postcard. Secondly, a small servo motor has been installed at the bottom of the screen. As the offsite camera tracks the offsite speaker's head, the screen rotates accordingly, providing a small but important visual cue and making the experience just a smidgen more human. This is difficult to understand by reading about, so check out the video:
I'm digging it. And if I had one of these, I'd have a built-in excuse for avoiding videochats with my more negative friends who love to shake their heads "no;" they'd burn out the servo motor quicker.