Thursday, August 29, 2013

Video Conferencing: Present and Future

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Tablets, desktops, and smartphones are doing more than just helping us consume information wherever we are. They are changing the way we communicate as individuals and as colleagues. There are many cases to be made about how it can help businesses be more efficient but even these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg.
Bank ATMs
Imagine walking into an ATM kiosk and being greeted by a teller. According to theVerge.com, Bank of America has already launched live video chat ATMs in Boston with plan to continue expansion throughout 2013. The idea is to have access to tellers outside of normal business hours so that they can help process advanced transactions that would not be possible with just the cash machine. Apart from the convenience, this feature is added security in cases of attempted theft or fraud.
Mobile Conferencing
Being able to schedule mobile video meetings with colleagues using software specifically for tablet and smartphones is not too far away. All you need are the high definition mobile devices you already have and you are able to create three-way, four-way, and even five-way conferences. As more businesses embrace the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend and the need to consume information on-the-go, mobile conferencing is becoming a viable option that will probably become a requirement. Companies benefit by being able to expand their vision of communicating with anyone, anytime, anywhere without spending too much money on their own devices or software licenses. Users would simply authenticate on a network and connect via call-in bridge.
Education
The days of kids waving to their counterparts in other countries are gone. Virtual field trips are the next step in video conferencing. Regular field trips cost more money and increase potential liability on all sides. With virtual field trips, teachers can take even more students on fun excursions around the world without the fear of nervous parents and missed flights. Kids with disabilities, who may have been unable to join classmates in certain sites, can visit the Great Wall of China or the Sydney Opera House from the comfort of the classroom. While there's nothing better than being at some of the world' most beautiful locations in-person, virtual fields can be used as a way to supplement a physical trip and can broaden students' minds.
The Legal System
When it comes to practicing law, the verdict is clear: billable hours are better for your bottom line. Video conferencing mean keeping in touch with partners and clients in a way that reduces non-billable hours and other business costs. If there are special decisions that need to be made regarding a case, being able to get everyone in the same conference room improves productivity and can even help with client retention. There may also come a time when trials and motions may be conducted exclusively via video conference as a way to efficiently and effectively use the legal system and maintain safety.

There is no doubt that video conferencing will has taken hold in a way that complements the current technological conditions. It's only a matter of time before it will spread to all areas of communication. 

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