This article is authored by one of our readers Ms. Soniya Kelly, London. She has done all the research and gathered the content to make this article more informative and interesting..
Video conferencing is getting popular with each passing day. It is seen as the most convenient way of communication for business in all the sectors and the industries. Unlike the voice conferences, this telecommunication method uses interactive telecommunication technology and audio and visual aids for communication. The individuals thus communicating by this process can have more personal interaction than in voice communication.
What is video conference??
A videoconference (also known as a videoteleconference) is a set of interactive telecommunication technology which allows two or more locations to interact via two-way video and audio transmissions simultaneously. It has also been called visual collaboration and is a type of groupware. It differs from videophone in that it is designed to serve a conference rather than individuals.
How video conferencing system works??
Video conferencing systems vary from entry-level systems using a desktop PC through to advanced 'installed' systems in boardrooms and meeting rooms.
* Desktop video conferencing - This system usually uses a small camera located on top of the PC or workstation monitor. The actual video is usually displayed in a small window, and shared applications, such as a shared whiteboard are often used.
* Studio-based systems - This system uses a studio (though usually a normal meeting room with portable equipment set up when required) specially equipped for video conferencing. This will normally include one or more cameras, microphones, one or more monitors and possibly other equipment such as an overhead camera for document viewing.
Whatever system is used a broadband connection is crucial, as higher speeds mean higher quality conferences. A connection of 384Kbps is the standard speed for most conferences.
Why should we welcome this technology??
In today’s challenging economy, businesses are looking for ways to cut travel costs, without losing the personal element of face-to-face meetings. According to a new survey, financial pressures and other widespread business trends from globalization to going green are increasing the adoption of videoconferencing in offices nationwide.
According to one research study reports that 23% of respondents have deployed or are planning to implement telepresence solutions within a year – a figure that may climb as businesses look for ways to maximize their bottom line. To support high-quality conferencing solutions, the study indicates that 76% of video calls now run on IP networks – an increase of 9% from a year ago. Furthermore, increasingly popular broadband-enabled video services mean users only need an inexpensive Webcam to connect visually.
In addition to the financial savings videoconferencing brings, there are promising green benefits. The American Consumer Institute report on the economic and environmental benefits of broadband indicates that greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 200 million tons if 10% of airline travel is replaced by teleconferencing over the next ten years. Videoconferencing also holds tremendous potential for e-learning. For example, 30% of Alaska’s school districts now offer classes via videoconferencing, which allows students in remote villages to access diverse courses.
Save time and travel costs - Video conferencing allows you to increase flexibility within your organisation. Staff can work in remote locations saving on the stress and costs of commuting. Client meetings can also occur more often and on an ad hoc basis making meeting attendance more convenient. It can also make meetings more likely to happen.
Help the environment - Reducing the need to travel also benefits the environment. BT director Adrian Hosford says the UK has the worst traffic congestion in Europe and that "increasing the use of teleworking is essential to reducing the amount of personal and business travel".
Present your case - With most systems you can display papers using electronic document camera or show information direct from your personal computer. You can also play a pre-recorded video, or even tape your own presentation - all from the comfort of your own office. This content could consist of educational resources, presentation materials, or technical drawings to mention but a few.
Collaborate - Video conferencing can also benefit team working and allow colleagues to discuss and debate issues much more comprehensively than can be achieved by phone alone.
Problems with video conferencing..
Some observers argue that two outstanding issues are preventing videoconferencing from becoming a standard form of communication, despite the ubiquity of videoconferencing-capable systems. These issues are:
1. Eye Contact: It is known that eye contact plays a large role in conversational turn-taking, perceived attention and intent, and other aspects of group communication. While traditional telephone conversations give no eye contact cues, videoconferencing systems are arguably worse in that they provide an incorrect impression that the remote interlocutor is avoiding eye contact. Telepresence systems have cameras located in the screens that reduce the amount of parallax observed by the users. This issue is also being addressed through research that generates a synthetic image with eye contact using stereo reconstruction.
2. Appearance Consciousness: A second problem with videoconferencing is that one is on camera, with the video stream possibly even being recorded. The burden of presenting an acceptable on-screen appearance is not present in audio-only communication. Early studies by Alphonse Chapanis found that the addition of video actually impaired communication, possibly because of the consciousness of being on camera.
The issue of eye-contact may be solved with advancing technology, and presumably the issue of appearance consciousness will fade as people become accustomed to videoconferencing.
Every coin have two sides...Like that ‘Video conferencing’ also have advantages and drawbacks but with the flexibility and versatility it offers to the different business, it surely offers the business enterprises a solution for connectivity which can earn profits for the enterprise which counts a lot for enterprises...