With technology constantly changing at break-neck pace, it can be difficult to keep up with the trends. We’ve gone from VHS tapes to DVDs to 4K HD streaming services in just a few decades, and it hasn’t stopped there. VR and AR (augmented reality) are soon to make their way into the mainstream, and we’re going to see a lot of changes in the area of video conferencing in the near future.
What kinds of changes can you expect? How will this affect your business or personal usage of these apps? Let’s take a closer look at how video technology, conference tools, and the general conference calling landscape will change in the near future.
Greater Internet Speeds
You’ve probably heard something about 5G connections and higher internet speeds in recent months. Whether it’s the conspiracy theorists talking about 5G causing cancer or your mobile phone company pressuring you to sign up for a faster plan, the new connection is causing plenty of buzz (though we’ll have to get back to you on the cancer thing).
With faster internet speeds, you can expect your video conferences to go from smooth to seamless. Sure, everyone gets lag spikes now and then, video and audio quality can cut in and out depending on where you are, etc. These are common issues that developers are hoping 5G connections will solve.
Faster connections mean higher-quality video and audio feeds. Right now, most video conferencing software runs in 1080p HD. Very few of these services can support 4k HD video feeds, and often, the users’ speeds aren’t fast enough for real-time video in such a high resolution.
We’ll likely see an increase in the general speed of connections worldwide as 5G connections are built, and options like fiber optic cable for grounded internet connections become available all over the world.
Video conferencing apps for teams come in hundreds if not thousands of varieties, each with its own set of features and pricing plans. As we rely more and more on faster connections, we’ll likely see more features in even the most basic of video conferencing services.
Most services offer some kind of cloud storage for call recordings, but this will soon be the standard. The ability to record your conference calls for later review is a huge selling point, and with secure cloud storage and sharing, you don’t have to worry about finding somewhere to put all of your recordings.
AR and VR
Augmented and virtual reality tools will likely find their way into video conferencing tools in the near future. With the advancement of these tools, you’ll be able to host or join a meeting in a virtual environment that looks and feels like you’re actually in a room with other people. Imagine being able to talk face-to-face with a colleague ten thousand miles away; or with your grandma who still lives on the other side of the planet. Pretty cool, right?
What is virtual reality, anyway? Virtual reality essentially creates a digital environment that a user can become completely immersed in by using a headset. The 360-degree headset offers a life-like view of the digital surroundings, and moves as your head does. Some VR tools even have hand tools so you can interact with objects in the digital space.
Virtual reality essentially tricks the brain into thinking it’s in a real place. You can see that it’s digitalized and almost cartoon-ish, but when the headset and your head moves and you interact with the environment, it feels like the real thing.
I can imagine that future meetings will be like something out of a sci-fi movie, with everyone strapped into headsets and meeting virtually in the Bahamas or some other beautiful landscape. Only time will tell, but what is certain is that some conferencing companies are already looking into VR and AR to enhance their meeting experiences.
There’s a good chance that once the COVID-19 epidemic has passed, we’ll see further use of video conferencing tools as an alternative to grouping people together. COVID has shown us just how fragile our society really is, and just how dangerous it can be to gather in large groups.
That’s not to say the virus has totally eliminated the need for in-person meetings, but there’s something to be said about taking greater caution in the future; especially with the technology lying before us. With video conferencing software in HD, we almost don’t need to meet in person anymore. But then, would we really feel human?
Video conferencing apps continue to shape the way we meet for business, reunions, and more, and the future looks quite interesting for these versatile and practical tools. From VR to AR to faster connections, we’re excited to see where video conferencing apps will take us in the coming decades.