The future of videoconferencing will rest with the masses.
Grandma and Grandpa will be able to see their grandkids grow up, families will be able to virtually be with each other whenever they want, people will be telecommuting (videocommuting) from anywhere, and meetings will be held via video just like they are now by telephone.
Videoconferencing will be commonplace and easily achieved.
Cell phones will (and do) have videoconferencing capability, laptop computers will be able to connect to meshed high speed networks provided by your city, for free. Web cams will be on every laptop sold. Apple will put videoconferencing capability in the iPhone or iPod, or both. Your TV will have both a network connection (wireless or wired) and will support videoconferencing. Your car will have a heads-up videoconferencing display.
Scheduling meetings will go away.
Do you schedule a cell phone call? No. The same will be true of videoconferencing. The ability to fire up an “ad-hoc” meeting will grow in importance, eventually supplanting the need for scheduling. If there is scheduling it will be accomplished via informal means such as an email or an IM request.
Telepresence and High Definition may be important but are not the be-all and end-all.
Super high quality video is nice to have, but, the need to schedule a meeting, then go to a room inhibits true video collaboration. The cost is also prohibitive. Telepresence and high definition will eventually filter down to the masses, but, for the foreseeable future, only “C” level executives will be using these products. The masses within an organization require anytime, anywhere videoconferencing. Think cell phone. Super high quality is not as important as the ad-hoc ability to collaborate. “Easy-to-use” is paramount.
The Internet will rule.
Standards based videoconferencing products based on H.323 will go away. Free Internet based videoconferencing will rule the world. The value of firing up my ooVoo application and be able to IM, send files, see and talk to my “buddies” in an ad-hoc manner is extremely powerful. That ability on my iPod or cell phone or television will only extend the power and hasten the demise of the more difficult to set-up and use H.323 standards based applications.
Ease of data collaboration will grow in importance
The idea of working together as if you were in the same location involves much more than just video. The ability to share data is an important part of that experience. “Here, take a look at this.” “This is how you do this.” “This is what I mean.” “See this?”
Ad-Hoc, ubiquitous, Internet based, videoconferencing will be the future. Anyone, anyplace, anytime will be the rule.
See these previous blog entries: