Does Videoconferencing Make Sense For Your Company?

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Science-fiction fans have long wished for life-sized communication devices that create a real-time image of the person you’re talking with.

Recently, holographic video technology has begun to surface, although at present the price means it’s restricted to only the wealthiest companies.

More realistic options when you want a face-to-face with clients across town are video conferencing and telepresence setups, like HP’s Halo solutions.

Soaring fuel prices, and the growing awareness of our carbon footprint, are encouraging the fast adoption of video conferencing among big and small companies alike.

Some businesses have even taken the line that if a video conference is possible, they won’t travel long distances for a meeting.

The advantages of video conferencing are obvious. As the old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

By being able to see each other, participants benefit from improved understanding and communication. Productivity goes up, travel costs are removed, and the time spent driving or flying to meetings is slashed dramatically.

The next stage
The benefits offered by video conferencing are soon to be taken to a new level by technologies like motion tracking, facial recognition and simulation, intelligent audio technologies, handheld and full-scale holographic devices, 3D monitors, stereographic camera setups, and entire-room display technologies.

Recent months have already seen the introduction of digital projectors into mobile phones.

While many of these technologies sound quite far-fetched, a lot of them will be available for regular business use in the near future.

And like most technological breakthroughs, with time many of them will also find their way into our homes. Friends and family living overseas could virtually walk in and talk with you – or share their living rooms in full detail.

Enhancing collaboration today
While holograms and other such technologies are still out of reach for most, video conferencing systems like Halo are helping organizations hold more engaging long-distance meetings that lift productivity while reducing costs.

The top-end products can include life-sized screens, crisp pictures, surround sound and even operating technicians.

A far more attractively priced option are PCs and notebooks equipped with web cameras. With free services like Skype and Webex, you can quickly and easily set up time-saving face-to-face meetings.

Collaboration and communication can be improved effortlessly, travel costs removed in an instant.

New technologies will soon revolutionize the way we communicate, but in the meantime, video conferencing can offer your business a great advantage.