Video Conferencing: Need for Real-time Information Exchange in Complex Business Environments to Support Market Growth
The Internet is undoubtedly the biggest gift humanity has bestowed upon itself in the last two decades. Thanks to technology that has empowered us like never before, everyone can now instantly access information, work, and socialize online, and much more.
Of the many communication offshoots of the Internet, video conferencing is a major one and is regarded as one of the most useful communication media in today’s constantly evolving world. With the Internet gaining popularity and increasing Internet bandwidth in developing countries, video conferencing has outreached its initial business scope to extend its scope into people’s daily life.
Most people today know what video conferencing is, and many, especially in the business sector, have experienced video conferencing on one or more occasion. But how did video conferencing emerge and how has it developed over the years?
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An Insight into the History of Video Conferencing
The video conferencing of today has faced many obstacles before developing into its current form. The idea has had many starts, stops, and stalls on the course, before it became one of the most useful communication systems employed across industries worldwide.
The earliest and simplest use of video conferencing dates back to the invention of the television in 1927, which allowed simple analog conferencing. The setup was very basic and comprised two closed circuitry television systems that were connected with a cable.
The Teleconference of the US secretary of commerce that took place in 1927 is regarded as the stepping stone in the prolonged and arduous development of video conferencing communications. Herbert Hoover’s image, who was the secretary of commerce of the U.S. then, was sent by cable while his voice was transferred by phone lines.
The Picture Phone presented by AT&T in the 1960’s is regarded as the first device offering real Peer to Peer video conferencing. Trials were on thereafter to commercialize the concept; Bell Labs even set up picturephone calling booths in Washington D.C., which after the initial brouhaha failed due to a combination of reasons.
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Video Conferencing of the 1990’s
The mid 1970’s and early 1980’s were a period of refining of video technology, as companies incorporated technological advancements such as network video protocol (NVP) and packet video protocol (PVP) were incorporated into video conferencing, but solely for company use.
Although the next ten years had some breakthrough developments for video conferencing, it was only in the 1990’s that technical advancement in Internet Protocol (IP) and development of efficient video compression technologies enabled PC-based or desktop-based video conferencing.
How does video conferencing facilitate business operations for current business environments?
Video conferencing, which has expanded from the conference room to office desktops to home laptops to mobile devices is increasingly becoming an important enterprise productivity tool:
- Video conferencing is an efficient and effective communication solution for global businesses spread across disparate locations. This helps share business information at multiple locations in real time.
- Use of video conferencing systems allows synchronization of business information from multiple location, thus considerably saving travel cost for personnel.
- Video conferencing offers instantaneous and effective mass communication. Hence, it can be leveraged by governments for natural calamities, emergencies, and communal disruptions.
Owing to these factors, the global video conferencing market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.36% from 2014 to 2020.