Where is the videoconferencing industry headed in the future?

Friday, May 10 2013

Video conferencing technology has evolved considerably over the past few decades, and as 2013 continues, the sector shows no signs of slowing down. The best video conferencing software can be hard to find, but as you scrutinize the available tools, here are a few trends to look out for in the next few years.

Holograms and 3D video conferencing tools
Nearly everyone has seen the holograms present in Star Trek and Star Wars, but the world has only recently begun exploring this technology. In 2012, the Coachella music festival featured a hologram of legendary deceased artist Tupac Shakur performing, but this pales in comparison to what Microsoft is currently developing.

IT Pro reported that Microsoft recently posted a job advertisement for a software engineer who could assist in the creation and implementation of holographic video conferencing technology.

"In the short term, we are developing the hardware and software necessary to have a realistic physical 'body-double' or proxy in a remote meeting - one that gives the remote worker a true seat at the table, the ability to look around the room, turn to a colleague and have a side conversation," read the ad, according to the news source. "Longer-term, this same platform will enable high-definition communication scenarios for consumers over Skype."

However, VOIP video conferencing already exists - presenters can use VOIP services and enable remote viewers to log in to a server proxy to attend meetings and evaluations. Webinar software also makes it exceptionally easy to organize and maintain these events, and with the best web conferencing software, previously-unconceivable technology will be seen in the near future.

Healthcare industry adoption
When thinking about video conferencing, the healthcare industry does not immediately come to mind, but virtual technology is becoming quite prevalent in hospitals and practices across the world. For example, Xconomy reported that doctors in Alaska are using video conferencing tools to speak with patients located in remote regions of the state. In Alaska, air travel is often the only way to reach isolated communities, and the volatile weather conditions often make such a trip impossible. Therefore, a face-to-face evaluation can be accomplished through the computer screen, which is much more effective than a phone call or email chain.

As the year moves on, video conferencing technology will continue to evolve, and it is only a matter of time before science fiction becomes reality.