Terça-feira, 24 de Novembro de 2009
Are we ready for videoconferencing?

By Daniel Christopher Jones

Video conferencing has for too long been synonymous with words like "glitchy", "hard to use" and "overpriced". However some of the world's largest telecommunications firms are doing their best to bring the technology into the mainstream.

While the technology has been around for decades its appeal has been tethered by difficulty of use and an expensive array of handsets, video cameras and television screens.

Until now, people have been more willing to get in the car or jump on the plane rather than spend time battling with technology that only worked when it felt like it.

A flurry of deal-making

But now more than ever, with companies more aware of their carbon footprint, any chance to cut down on emissions and costs is welcome. And luckily for the business industry companies including Cisco Systems, Logitech International, and several lesser-known start-ups are engaged in a flurry of deal-making aimed at grabbing more of the market and bringing the technology into more businesses and homes, as reported by BusinessWeek.

When done right video conferencing has many benefits, it increases productivity, allows for more frequent and more effective communication thus reinforcing relationships, reduces travel expenses and of course saves on carbon emissions.

Now with increased investment from companies like Cisco, who are close to a $3 billion purchase of market leader Tandberg, the technology is close to becoming far more accessible.

High-definition videoconferencing gear

PC accessories giant Logitech also announced last week that it will pay $405 million for LifeSize Communications, a maker of high-end high-definition videoconferencing gear.

These deals represent a growing sense that video conferencing is ready to go from a high-end luxury reserved for the most extravagant of boardrooms, to an everyday business tool.

Thanks to increased broadband capacity corporate networks can now better handle bandwidth-hogging video conferencing sessions. And this coupled with the explosion of consumers and business people using low-end options such as Skype, and getting to grips with ever more powerful laptops and smartphones, people now have the processing power needed to join conferences from anywhere at their fingertips.

With wider availability on a plethora of platforms, the video conferencing market is set to explode at a time when even environmentalists will even invest. Everyone's a winner.



As Tecnologias de Videoconferência no Ensino Superior Público Português: Boas Práticas e Tendências
Dissertação de Mestrado do Curso de Comunicação Multimédia, ramo Audiovisual Digital da Universidade de Aveiro
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