The main reason why more and more people are conducting meetings via video conferencing is mainly because the technology is now so good. While nothing will beat the human connection of a face-to-face meeting, video conferencing now comes very close, and globally, the video conferencing market is predicted to be worth US$6.37 billion by 2026.
Audio and visual quality have improved massively in recent times, and have advances unheard of 20 years ago. The technology has been developed to enable the camera and microphone to focus on the person speaking by zooming in on them. So, the days of not quite knowing who’s speaking and not quite being able to hear what they say clearly are well and truly over.
The sophistication of modern hardware and software enables people with a minimal knowledge of IT systems to control video conferencing systems without the need to have an IT technician in constant attendance. Once video conferencing technology has been installed, it can be used from a simple control panel which allows users to operate not just the video technology, but also the lights and blinds in the room.
In open-plan offices, there is a growing trend for companies to provide huddle pods, i.e. small, informal meeting spaces enclosed by soft fabric-covered screens without the need to build partitioned offices. Huddle pods can incorporate video conferencing, giving small groups of people the opportunity to join video conferences from the comfort of their own office building.
A video conference could be as small as a video phone call between two people. Rather than spend thousands on having more than one fully equipped meeting room, people can join a video conference from the convenience of their desk. It doesn’t matter if it’s a one-to-one call or they’re joining a large group video conference, there is no longer a need to travel long or even short distances to meetings, saving your company both time and money.
Video conferencing is a growing trend in the education sector, and is projected to grow 14% year on year by 2024. With video tutorials and online education now an accepted part of our learning, it’s no surprise that students are happy for visiting tutors to do their lectures via video conferencing. The advances in video conferencing technology have significantly increased the quality of the hardware, making it an effective alternative to face-to-face lectures, and enabling educational institutions to save on the travel expenses of visiting experts, and even sharing any costs of their hire.
In fact, one business school in France has just installed traditional video conferencing equipment which has enabled it to create an entirely online course. Tutors take charge of a virtual classroom for up to 84 students logging in remotely. The technology also allows the class to work in smaller groups, just like in a real classroom, enabling them to interact with their fellow learners as much as with their tutors.
As it increases in quality and decreases in cost, video conferencing technology is set to become even more widely used in companies of all sizes and a wide range of industries.
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