Not that long ago, the idea of speaking face to face with a client or coworker that was hundreds of miles away seemed impossibly futuristic. The concept was regularly trotted out in popular movies and TV shows, but it didn't become a reality until relatively recently. Many major advancements in video conferencing services have been made over the last decade or so, and the skyrocketing popularity of the Internet and mobile devices is largely responsible. The technology has become so affordable and versatile, that it's being used in many exciting ways. From Fortune 500 companies to small family owned businesses in rural areas, web conferencing services are changing the world.
The Promise of Video Conferencing
In the past, many services could only be offered on a face-to-face basis. Standard telephones were simply too impersonal for some situations. Without being able to see a patient, for example, a doctor couldn't hope to do a thorough exam by phone. Although it's possible to chat with a therapist on the phone, it just isn't the same without being able to see one another. In educational environments, standard teleconferencing has serious limitations. There's no way to share a chalkboard with students, for instance, so conducting a useful class is just about impossible.
Video conferencing services change all of that. These days, they do a lot more than give you the ability to see another person while chatting. Advancements in web conferencing technology now allow instructors to share virtual chalkboards with viewers while they give lectures and conferences. For business meetings, critical information can be transmitted during a video conference to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Patients who would normally have a difficult time seeing doctors are now enjoying easier access than ever. Without a doubt, the technology has reached a point where it has opened up many exciting new possibilities in almost any industry. A few of the best ones are highlighted below.
- Mobile Video Conferencing - Mobile devices have revolutionized the way in which we do business. Through Wi-Fi, 3G, and 4G connections, businesses are now able to connect from just about anywhere with anyone. Previously, you had to at least sit down at a computer to have a decent video conference. Now, you can use a variety of different apps to do so while you're on the go. Mobile access makes it possible for people who are out on rigs or in extremely remote locations to participate in web conferences and to enjoy services such as the ones listed above. The best part of the mobility is that you can have a face-to-face (digitally) anywhere. It allows you to utilize your spare time most efficiently than ever, inside an airport, on the road, or just waiting to be seated for your next meal.
- Training - To get your message across it's critical to be able to interact with your audience. Thanks to advancements in web conferencing technology, distance learning is more interactive and effective than ever. This can be used well in training situations for clients, new employees and even existing employees. Presenters are able to actively engage their audiences, even if they’re thousands of miles away. Slideshow presentations can be instantly transmitted during a web conference, which closely replicates the experience of sitting in a meeting room. Now more than ever, it is possible to learn new concepts from afar.
- Medical Industries – Businesses that operate in the medical industry are becoming more aware of the changes technology is bringing to their processes. Some people that live in rural areas are forced to use other avenues to contact doctors and other medical staff in cases of emergencies; this can now be done through telemedicine and telenursing. Even other treatments such as therapy can be offered in this form. These advancements are helpful when visiting a person is not an option. They also carry several other advantages, such as removing the chance of a doctor contracting their patient's illness and removing the danger of an in-person visit in situations like mental facilities and prisons.
As exciting as these advancements in web conferencing are, they’re just the beginning. The technology is constantly improving and becoming more versatile, so there's no question that new and exciting ways to use it will be rolled out in the future business world. In addition to being used for a more effective business meeting, video conferencing is proving to be a truly useful and even life-saving option. It will be interesting to see how it is used and enhanced in the future. One thing's for sure: It is here to stay.
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