In the 1930’s an artist once painted a prediction of the future. The picture portrayed two women sitting at an outdoor picnic table, each one holding what appeared to be an oval shaped viewing screen up to their faces which was attached to a device at their hips. The image accurately predicted the existence of video phones, and we are now so far into the future that they are actually an option for us. The future is upon us, and it is now available for your business if you wish to go so far as to take advantage of it, and the concept of video conferencing has never led to so many different possibilities.
What is Video Conferencing?
While you may know it better as a visioconférence, Bluejeans and other services offer precisely what it sounds like. Throughout the years there have been many different ways to initiate a call, the first one being to use the telephone. If you had a decent long distance carrier this could be acceptable and easy to do, but a conference call like that just sort of lacked the personal touch, didn’t it? Fast forward to today and we have nearly matched that vision of the future, and pretty soon we might just find ourselves exceeding t. What lies beyond it? Who knows, but it will most certainly be an interesting endeavor!
With video conferencing you will be able to not only communicate with the individual at the other end of the call, you will be able to see the person at the other end and you will be able to see those on the call with them. Keep in mind that today’s video conferences do not work as normal phone calls. Rather than relying on analogue lines, it uses a technology known as “Voice over IP,” shortened to VoIP. This is a much faster method of communication and allows for several different types of data packets to be transmitted. The use of video is not a new concept, but it is certainly useful according to About.com and their five reasons for using video conferencing in the work environment.
In the beginning, video conferencing was handled by applications like Netmeeting and other software packages, but all of these were client-side and proprietary. Now, the conferencing aspect of things can be handled by a cloud system. What does this mean exactly? It means that you will not have to keep the software on your computer and your maintenance will be relatively low.
Getting your Room Ready
If you are planning to install video conferencing equipment in your office then you will want to start by making sure you conference room has all the right equipment. You will want to begin with the following items:
- Projector or LCD/LED Television
The last item on the list there, the computer, is what you will use to stream the cloud software, and because it will be your primary video conferencing machine, you will probably want it to be a bit more powerful than most of the other machines in your office. We did mention that the video conferencing software is cloud based, meaning you will not have to run the bulk of the software locally, but you simply do not want to take any chances with this. That being the case, you should make sure to use a computer with an up to date video card along with a decent amount of RAM (8 GB and up) to ensure that the video can be processed properly.
Finally, make sure that your video conferencing setup has the proper sound system. You don’t want to try listening to the individuals on the other end using subpar PC speakers. Instead, make sure you use the best, and make sure that it is integrated into your conference room. Once of the best things that you can do is provide surround sound, and make sure that everything can be operated both manually, and by remote. Both of these will come in handy at some point, though when you are in the middle of a conference, the last thing that you really want to do is find yourself standing and sitting constantly so that you can manage the sound system.
Once again, we are living in the future and there are plenty of new technologies for us to take advantage of – all of which will help us to do our jobs better and most importantly, will help us to build better businesses. Start looking into the video technology available today and make sure that your company is compatible with the future. It is coming, whether you like it or not, and it is bound to start making things much better for us, at least as far as communication is concerned.