The Future of Video Conferencing

As August comes to a close and fall creeps in, many changes occur around us. Children go to school, students go back to college, and recent grads find their first full-time positions. With your family moving in opposite directions, how can you connect with them all? Video conferencing.

Video conferencing sounds very business-like, but it applies to more than just work correspondence. It encompasses any communications that takes place over the Internet involving camera(s) for audio and visual components. Video conferencing includes Skype and FaceTime calls. After all, these applications work for businesses, too!

video conferencing family

Many families utilize video conferencing to stay connected when they can’t be physically together. Imagine how much more connected these families can be once Room2Room’s technology becomes standard.
Flickr: Peter Dutton

When my older sister left for college, my parents found great value in purchasing a webcam and engaging in video calls with her. As I left for college and she moved to Europe, our family continued utilizing video calls to keep us connected. No, it wasn’t the same as having the whole family together in the same place. For us, though, it served its purpose in keeping our family connected.

To make the experience more authentic, MIT and Microsoft researched and collaborated to create a solution. Their efforts made Room2Room, which uses “Kinect depth cameras and digital projectors to capture the image of a person in 3-D in one room and project a life-sized version of that person in real time onto a piece of furniture in another room, where someone else is actually hanging out, and vice versa.” The article goes on to state that each person’s digital image displays in the correct perspective and provides the ability to look at the other person from different viewpoints. This technology allows users to have more personal-feeling conversations despite being geographically separated.

video conferencing projection technologies

From Microsoft Research via MIT Technology Review

Imagine how this can influence your business communications. If your company runs on an larger scale, engaging in video conferencing calls while achieving a face-to-face experience can be imperative to the customer or partner experience.

For a moment, pretend you are looking for a new teacher for your school. You find a great candidate who wants to return to the area, but currently resides in Texas as she finishes her courses and student teaching at TCU. You want to interview this candidate, yet she is geographically inaccessible. Video conferencing can be the right fit for that.

However, from the candidate’s perspective, there are many schools in the area that she can work at. Why choose one school over another? Technology is a factor when choosing a place of employment, especially in education. Having access to more and better technology provides more opportunity for teachers to educate their students in a learning style that best fits the curriculum and student lifestyles. By possessing the capability to do a more personal video interview through Room2Room (or a similar program), your school demonstrates to this candidate that they lead the area in technology innovation, translating to her that she will be granted updated technology to use to build upon her lessons.

video conferencing education

Many educators include video conferencing into the classroom in order to teach remotely or invite remote guests into the classroom for discussions.
Flickr: Per Axbom

The ability to project people into video conferencing calls provides a more relaxed environment for all. When participating in a video interview, all parties lose aspects of interpersonal interactions. There is no handshake, no eye contact, and a lack of body language. While these aspects cannot be entirely restored through projection technologies, they do begin to reappear. Now, you can see what the other person is wearing, get a feel for their body language, and so on.

While projection integration in video conferencing remains in the works, innovative technology solutions stays at the forefront of our minds at Heart Technologies. As your business requires technology updates and improvements, know that Heart Technologies, a local leader in business technology solutions for almost 30 years, is here and ready to assist you in any way we can. Give us a call at 877.494.3278 today to see what the future holds for your business.