Video conferencing industry growing

Tuesday, July 13 2010

Video conferencing is finally starting to catch on, even though the idea is older than the Beatles. With new advances that make video conferencing easier, faster and more like face-to-face interaction, reports that the industry may be on the verge of a boom.

It seems high-tech - and it is high-tech - but the concept of video conferencing is almost as old as the telephone itself. It's existed since at least 1964, when AT&T displayed its Picturephone at the New York World's Fair. But a new wave of devices - including laptops with built-in cameras, tablet computers and mobile phones that support face-to-face streaming video - has renewed the demand for video conferencing technology.

In fact, IDC predicts that the compound annual growth rate over the next five years for the video conferencing industry will be 23 percent. That rate is nearly twice as fast as the rate for the previous five years.

One example of the growth of the industry can be found in the Obama administration, which earlier this year budgeted $400 million for video conferencing-based telehealth technologies that will aid medical professionals in providing long-distance care.

Research indicates that the telepresence and video conferencing industry could be worth as much as $4.3 billion by 2014.

The growth is part of a larger trend that is embracing internet-based video culture, such as YouTube and Vimeo, more readily.