Video conferencing technology has steadily advanced over the course of recent years to become something that we finally use on a widespread basis. For the time being, Video technology is still mainly the domain of millions of either regular people chatting over Skype and other networks with their families and friends across the world or business meetings conducted amongst corporate drones and their bosses. Video conferencing is the future, but certain technological innovations are only just emerging to really make it take off. So, what are the latest trends in video conferencing technology emerging today?
Latest Trends in Video Conferencing Technology
At the current time, numerous apps, software platforms and website based platforms are available for download and use as video conferencing tools. If you combine this with the proliferation of increasingly powerful smart phones, tablets and personal computer with excellent video and sound technology, you get an obvious environment for the spread of video conferencing. What is also making the technology more popular than ever is the fact that many of these apps are either free or extremely cheap to download. They also allow for app-to-app video or voice calling at no cost. Again, this is a recipe for massive popular expansion.
While private level and basic corporate video conferencing is taking off, some impediments to enterprise level video calling still exist. The main one being bandwidth issues. However, despite this, a number of technologies and trends are just arriving that will only see wider use in the years to come.
Enterprise level video conferencing, with full HD video quality, full collaborative capacity and dedicated high speed bandwidth is finally starting to become inexpensive enough for the smaller to medium sized business market. At current prices a single room can be wired up into a Unified Communications System with full telepresence, proper video codecs and HD video quality at a cost of $200,000 USD or less. This price will only decrease over time and as it does, SMB (Small to Medium Business) use of fully integrated video communication services will grow enormously.
Additionally, companies like Cisco are working to create consumer market friendly versions of their enterprise communications platform TelePresence and sell to a much wider small business and individual user market. At the same time, the leader in private consumer video calling services, Skype, is trying to work its way into the corporate market with Enterprise level video conferencing tools that cost a fraction of what the corporate competition offers at the moment.
These fully integrated video collaboration services still have a high cost, but as it shrinks; it will eventually become cheaper as a one-time installation when measured against the cost of spending on frequent corporate travel for employees and execs.
Bandwidth Use and Transmission Innovations
Bandwidth is expensive and video conferencing uses up a lot of it; the usage can be as high as 6 Mbps per screen per room. Furthermore, interruption risks are something many corporate players absolutely do not want to risk during very important teleconferences. Technology is addressing both problems with new innovations and organizational trends. Dedicated bandwidth is one option that is seeing increasing use. Another is the growing use of managed service providers to take care of complex video conferencing applications. These service providers manage all the IT and bandwidth control aspects of teleconferences to ensure uninterrupted meetings at lower cost.
Cloud Based Platforms and Video Coding Changes
Two other innovations bear mentioning if we’re discussing the trends in video collaboration: One of them is the potential for Cloud based Video conferencing; this could soon become a common managed service structure that integrates messaging, video meetings, dedicated email, video and data collaboration, all of them run through a large, secure private cloud service.
The other recent innovation, which may make quality video transmission much more stable, is Scalable Video Coding. The technology divides a video’s frames into separate encapsulated layers that each contain portions of the whole stream, making interruption issues less likely even on congested networks. Scalable video coding is growing ever more popular.
Enterprise Level Quality on Mobile Platforms
As the three technologies of increased power in mobile devices, higher bandwidth capacities and further refining of video conferencing apps converge together, the result will be a move towards much higher quality mobile video applications. Mobile video options today are still too unreliable for serious business use -but within the next few years, as 4G expands, companies like Cisco and others will start coming out with high-end mobile video applications that can easily and very effectively work on the latest high power smart phones. It’s quite probable that most mobile business or private communications and collaboration gravitate towards the powerful and cheap new video conferencing apps that develop.
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Will Video Conferencing Replace Traditional Methods of Communication
Are new developments in technology propelling the video conferencing market to greater heights? The availability of cheaper video conferencing tools such as apps, software platforms, and websites, combined with their integration and accessibility on mobile devices such as tablets and PCs may be a boon to individual users, but does that really translate into efficiency and economy for small businesses and enterprises?
Limitations in terms of bandwidth requirements, lack of high end video applications and high costs are some of the factors that stand in the way of both small businesses and large enterprises embracing video conferencing as a communication tool. So how does it rate in today’s marketplace and what is the future of video conferencing? Will it eventually find acceptance worldwide and replace the traditional methods of communications?
Powwownow, UK’s leading free conference call service provider, recently conducted a survey to study the impact of video conferencing in today’s business and how the video conferencing market holds itself against traditional methods of business communication.
The results have been put together in a nice infographic that clearly indicates the demand for video conferencing systems is only increasing. With over 1.8bn hours of Skype video calling made a year, and the growth of video conferencing pegged at over 19%, the video conferencing market is expected to expand to over ?667m by the year 2016.
More than 70% of SME’s believe that video conferencing actually saves costs that would otherwise be incurred on meeting travels.
Another interesting factor is that a majority of CIO surveyors expect desk phones to become redundant in the next 5 years. Over 75% of survey respondents believe that conference calling, which has been the traditional method of communication will eventually be replaced by video conferencing technology.
Check out the infographic and let us know if you use video conferencing technology for your business and how effective it is as a method of communication.
Source: The Rise of Video Conferencing