Now that the American public can watch live streaming video of the BP oil spill, there's officially nowhere that video conferencing can't go, reports InformationWeek.
InformationWeek's Chris Murphy writes that it's notable how "utterly unremarkable people find it that we have streaming video from nearly one mile deep on the ocean floor." Generations that have grown up among ever-improving technology and more and more realistic face-to-face video are no longer even impressed that cameras that just years ago would have been crushed under the pressure a mile deep in the open ocean can now stream video 24 hours a day.
The feed from these underwater cameras can be found everywhere - on BP's website and on television stations such as CNN and MSNBC, to name only a few. In fact, according to InformationWeek, the Associated Press has begun to use the streaming video to report on goings-on at the Deepwater Horizon rig without waiting for official releases from BP.
But, Murphy writes, it's important to make a distinction between "video anywhere" and "video everywhere." People don't want video conferencing to encroach on every aspect of their daily lives - but they want the option to make video calls when it's convenient and desirable.
That's quickly becoming a reality. The University of California system recently announced plans to develop an online bachelor's degree program using video conferencing equipment in classrooms. Additionally, the telehealth industry has been on the rise, with hospitals across America installing video equipment that lets patients check in with their doctors from their very own living rooms.