Nowadays, technology is enabling us to communicate more successfully with colleagues from further away than we ever have before. One of the most useful manifestations of this in the commercial arena is video conferencing, which allows for communication between offices around the globe with immediate effect. In its most high-end form, telepresence video conferencing often uses state-of-the-art room designs, video cameras, displays and sound systems to create a realistic conference feel. This kind of communication is sometimes referred to as audio visual conferencing, which refers to the fact that the technology allows for sound as well as image transfer.
Video conferencing is made up of interactive telecommunication technologies which enables two or more sites to interact via two-way video and audio transmissions simultaneously. This is different from the increasingly popular videophone calls as it is designed to be used at conferences rather than between individuals. It can involve just two people in private offices, or involve several sites (‘multi point’), with more than one person in big rooms at different sites.
The ultimate aim of this technology is to make the conference feel as genuine as possible, and the give the sense that the people involved are actually sitting around the conference table together. This may be why telepresence video conferencing has developed; to create the illusion of an even more authentic corporate meeting. After all, it always feels a little unnatural to speak into a screen.
The benefits of this technology are diverse. In transnational corporations where important operations are located around the world, the travel and time costs of key members of staff meeting each other in person can soon become very high. A video conference is often accompanied by some sort of file sharing, which enables the participants to discuss recent material or documents. These types of conferences tend to be suitable for most occasions, although for the business meetings when a more personal touch is required, such as closing a sales deal or an important first meeting, a face to face contact can be better, as it can be difficult to achieve the personal bond that is possible in person when speaking through screens.
From the high-end corporate world of telepresence video conferencing to more basic forms of video conferencing, this is a vital tool for millions of corporations around the world. Furthermore, increased use of audio video conferencing, and the associated decrease in business travel may turn out to be one of our most useful tools in fighting global warming.
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