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How Has Video Conferencing Software Evolved Over the Years?

When two or more people interact visually in real time via the internet using a program or piece of software, this is known as video conferencing. It is a virtual online meeting where participants can communicate in real time via video and voice. Since it might not be possible to meet in person always, at distant parties connect for face-to-face meetings over the internet. Video conferencing has been around for a while and has become extremely popular in corporate work cultures, as well as in schools and households, which made it a crucial communication tool during the 2020-Covid-19 pandemic.

Static images and text can be transmitted between two persons that are physically apart using video conferencing. When it is highly advanced, it can transmit full motion video and high-quality audio between several sites.

One of the main features of unified communications platforms, which also have phone and messaging capabilities, used for corporate work in the business world is desktop video conferencing. Many vendors offer standalone on-premises and cloud-based video conferencing platforms that handle desktop and room-based video. These platforms are designed to enable video conferencing to be integrated into business applications including telehealth, customer service, and distant learning.

Cloud-based services are widely available, and they enable businesses to use video conferencing with little initial outlay and to benefit from quickly developing AI-powered features that enhance the quality of the video and audio.

It offers convenience:

Everyone can benefit from video conferencing technology, but it is particularly useful for business users who are spread across multiple cities or nations because it reduces the costs, hassles, and time required for business travel. Routine meetings, commercial negotiations, and candidate interviews are all common uses for video conferencing. Therefore, a video call or video chat is used to describe a video conference that is held for informal purposes.

Growth Of the Video Conferencing Software Market:

The global video conferencing market is expected to grow significantly.

With built-in features like chat, screen sharing, and recording, video conferencing software provides online communication for audio meetings, video meetings, and seminars. The COVID-19 epidemic and the impact of the Russia-Ukraine War are expected to cause the global market for video conferencing software, which was forecasted to be worth US $14.58  billion in 2022, to rise at a CAGR of 11.3% until 2028.

Video conferencing engagements are in-person visual conferences between one or more users. The integration of well known technologies related to the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud technology is projected to fuel market expansion in the near future.

Additionally, the growing need for collaboration tools powered by cloud technology, virtual administrative administration, and video communication are significant variables impacting market expansion favorably. In an effort to make decisions more quickly and effectively while avoiding the high costs of travel, businesses and organizations are embracing video collaboration solutions.

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Evolution of Video Conferencing tool:

1870

Bell Labs’ invention of the idea of sending an image and sounds over wire in the 1870s gave rise to the earliest ideas for video conferencing.

1900

Georg Schubert, a German inventor, created a working prototype of contemporary video telephony during the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Germany.

The “visual telephone system” was known as Gegensehn-Fernsprechanlagen. Initially, a coaxial cable was used to connect Berlin and Leipzig, which are separated by around 100 miles. Coaxial cable transmission lines of more than 620 miles were subsequently added in numerous places. Post offices now have video call booths where customers can connect to call booths in other cities. But when World War II broke out in 1939, the technology was abandoned.

Germany was another country that tried out early video conferencing in the 1930s. Image phones, which could transmit still images across phone lines, were a part of this early technology.

In the 1990s, webcams first appeared on university campuses. The QuickCam, the first commercial webcam, was released in August 1994. A Windows-compatible version was eventually produced in 1995 because it was initially exclusively Mac compatible. QuickCam was voted one of the best computer gadgets of all time by Time magazine in 2010.

The CU-SeeMe video conferencing program for the Mac was created in 1992 by Cornell University’s IT department. In 1994, they started working on the Windows software. The first internet radio stations were created in 1995 with the commercial release of the CU-SeeMe software.

1970

With the launch of its Picturephone service in the early 1970s, AT&T pioneered the use of video conferencing. With the advent of the personal computer revolution in the 1980s, video conferencing did, however, start to become widely used.

Video conferencing became more commonplace as a result of the subsequent invention of mobile phones. The change led to the development of codecs and the emergence of broadband services like Integrated Services Digital Network, making it possible to transport visual images for personal use.

2000

The front-facing camera, which is on the same side as the keyboard, was added to smartphones soon after they first featured rear-facing cameras for shooting pictures in order to facilitate video conferencing. The Kyocera Visual Phone VP-210, introduced in Japan in 1999, was the first smartphone to have a front-facing camera. In 2003, several phones were released with front-facing cameras, notably the Sony Ericsson Z1010.

With the release of the iPhone 4 and FaceTime in 2010, smartphone video conferencing really took off. You could go from a spoken call to two-way video communication with the touch of a button. Apple soon introduced support for 3G and 4G/LTE since it first just supported Wi-Fi connections.

The first telesurgery in history, known as Operation Lindbergh, happened on September 7, 2001. An operation was carried out on a patient in Strasbourg, France, by a group of French and American medical professionals in New York, using high-speed technology and a surgical robot called Zeus.

A few months later, while the war in Afghanistan was just getting started, the first live video broadcast using satellite technology was made. Using this new technology, journalists were able to transmit live video reports from Afghanistan to the headquarters of their network for rebroadcast.

Skype was launched in August 2003 by three Estonian software developers. Skype was purchased by eBay in 2005 and sold to Microsoft in 2011. It began as a text-only messenger but later added video.

In 2009, two former Yahoo employees founded WhatsApp as an instant messaging service. In 2016, a video chat option was added and after two years the feature was introduced by Facebook.

2020 – Video Conferencing boom

Then in 2020 there was the pandemic, and due to COVID-19 all video products experienced a surge as more businesses and colleges invested in video conferencing equipment to maintain employee connectivity from remote locations. Even schools and colleges connected on video conferences which seems to be the trend in the future as well.

Top Video Conferencing platforms/ tools and its use cases:

2020 will always be remembered because it brought so many changes and one aspect that was common in the lives of people on both personal and professional front was that no matter where they are they can connect virtually. Remote work and telemedicine became the norm at this time.

Individual educators and government agencies began video conferencing regularly which businesses used for many years and the user base of video conferencing expanded like anything and the way consumers use the video technology also grew like anything.

In the past, the main criticisms of remote work focused on the lack of nonverbal indicators, such as facial expressions, tone, and concentration level. However, video allows people to communicate with coworkers while working away. As a result, it has evolved into an important aspect of how individuals collaborate.

Email is a quick and convenient way to connect, but face-to-face video sessions are more effective and beneficial. Compared to email communication, it is 34 times more effective. As a result, employees need to have more intimate talks, which may be accomplished with video conferencing software as they work remotely, travel, and have flexible schedules.

Fortunately, there is a big industry with countless possibilities for different video conferencing software. The optimal option for the business depends on a number of variables. To fully discuss the use cases, we will examine the top video conferencing platforms and the use cases:

1. Zoom :

Zoom is a popular and heavy hitter in the video conferencing world because it offers so many options included in the plan. There’s a good reason why it’s the most widely used video conferencing app: it works well.

You can be sure that everyone will be able to access a Zoom meeting after sharing the link to it. You may presume that everyone has already installed the software and set it up to function since there are apps for all of the major platforms. Simply clicking the link will allow you to join the meeting. It’s difficult to exaggerate how important that is because nothing makes a meeting less productive than when someone is unable to attend.

With the help of the dependable video conferencing tool Zoom, you can maintain a video connection even when it is unstable and communicate in lower quality. You can also share the screen and attach a full-length video. If you choose, you can even share just a portion of the screen as well as the audio from your computer.

The Zoom app, one of the greatest virtual whiteboards on the market, recently received a number of feature updates. Sticky notes, photos, and diagrams may all be added to the virtual board.

With the help of the dependable video conferencing tool Zoom, you can maintain a video connection even when it is unstable and communicate in lower quality. You can also share the screen and attach a full-length video. If you choose, you can even share just a portion of the screen as well as the audio from your computer.

The Zoom app, one of the greatest virtual whiteboards on the market, recently received a number of feature updates. Sticky notes, photos, and diagrams may all be added to the virtual board. You can also schedule the calls in advance and chat anytime with the contacts and connect to room conferencing hardware. Well, it is a perfect team video app.

By linking Zoom to Zapier, you can expand its functionality and eliminate the tedious effort associated with scheduling and following up on meetings. For instance, you may set up video conferences whenever someone makes an appointment or receives notifications for forthcoming meetings. You can also automatically add Zoom calls to your calendar.

2. Google Meet

Google Meet, a really good video conferencing tool, has strong integration with Google’s other products. When you schedule a meeting using Google Calendar, you can receive a meet link that attendees can click to join the call right away. You can start a call immediately from your Gmail inbox if you need to share some crucial files in the middle of a conversation. Then there is connection with Chrome, which has a tab sharing capability that is fantastic for media sharing with very little lag when used to stream a little film as a group, but it doesn’t work in other browsers.

While Zoom and other applications are catching up, Google Meet continues to excel at live captioning. Although it can’t tell when other languages are being spoken on a call, the captions function reasonably well in English.

Popular Zoom substitute Google Meet operates via the browser rather than as an application. As a result, this is actually highly advantageous because nothing needs to be installed. When you want to host a big conference call, the browser-based apps could have trouble, which could result in poor quality.

Consequently, when your internet connection is slow, Meet also doesn’t seamlessly downgrade calls like Zoom does. However, there is a solution. With the view-only option, you can choose to have up to 100,000 participants join. They will only be able to view and hear the call’s leader because this mode does not display the video of other participants.

If you only require one or two people to present to a big group, it’s a good alternative even though it’s not precisely like a full group video conference because it restricts their capacity to speak.

Hybrid companies or companies with multiple locations can make use of Meet conference room devices which are ideal for full room video chats and you can also use the Jamboard touchscreen device for team collaboration. If the company is paying for Google Workspace then it is free.

3. Webex Meeting

A leading manufacturer of video conferencing hardware is Cisco and Webex meetings is their video call app. You may notice that focus should be on video quality and everyone looks or sounds better on this service. So, image and sound quality goes hand in hand in terms of stability and it is not particularly close.

Users are able to join the meeting by downloading and installing the application using the web version. The collaborative features are very good and noteworthy as there is an excellent whiteboard that can be compared to what is offered by any other app. There is drawing, text, stick notes and a magic pen feature which helps in tidying up the mess. You can also share the document without the need for sharing the screen as everyone in the meeting can mark up the file in place and it is good to think out loud about a project as a group.

So overlooking Webex will not be a wise thing to do because if you used it a couple of years ago you would want to try it again and it is completely overhauled and an amazing video conferencing option that can be chosen for office meetings, business communication online and more.

4. Microsoft teams

While most team chat applications struggle with video, Microsoft Teams has some powerful video conferencing features that can be very helpful. The whiteboard is fantastic, allowing for freehand drawing, and the application is helpful for making things run more smoothly.

For instance, the features make it excellent if you design a square with incorrect measurements. It is also simple to make on-the-fly diagrams and take notes. There are numerous additional features for collaboration.

For example, the conversation from the meeting is archived in your team chat application. Meeting notes can be taken using a built-in function, and they are also distributed to the team after the meeting. Even better, you can share the automatically generated meeting transcripts.

Nothing will matter if the video quality is not good and the team works well even when there are large calls and there are all types of features for helping the meeting to go smoothly and some like together mode seen in the screenshot. There are gimmicks as well that can also help in team cohesion.

This program was created in response to the increasing number of collaboration platforms, like Slack, that have dominated the market in recent years. Microsoft Teams is a general-purpose chat platform for the office, but its video conferencing feature is just as fascinating and potent. Users have the option to start video conferences right from their chats.

The program has flaws, and Microsoft keeps cluttering up the UI by adding functions to the apps. This is the case with Teams, and although it is simple to invite individuals from outside the company to a team meeting, it is not as frictionless as Zoom. If the Team is not installed, there can be problems.

In terms of price? Teams is included with virtually all Microsoft Office versions, so you’re presumably already paying for it. Teams is a good choice to think about if you want a team chat app that also offers excellent video conferencing.

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Video Conferencing use cases:

The modern workplace cannot function without video conferencing software. A more intimate connection can be made between participants and others they may never really meet in person through face-to-face communication. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many businesses now utilize video conferencing for social events and community-building activities including happy hours, lunch and learns, health and wellness events, and games.

The use of video technology is widespread throughout horizontal company operations like sales, HR, and product development, as well as across vertical industries like the legal, educational, and healthcare sectors. The most prevalent use cases for video conferencing are recruitment, training, project management, and customer collaboration, negotiations and sales presentations. 

1. Recruitment: 

HR teams could interview candidates much more quickly and easily than in the past thanks to video conferencing. In the past, a company could only seriously examine a very small number of candidates due to in-person interviews. Nowadays, employees may interview and work from practically anywhere because of the  widely accepted remote choices.

Everyone on the team may utilize video to communicate simply and effectively at the push of a button, from assistants who directly address questions from employees to managers who take care of all the minute details. Increased chances for remote work and flexible scheduling are made possible by the ability to communicate with HR or anybody else at the office without physically being there. Recruiting teams can screen the applicants and take different interviews.

2. Training

The entire workforce can receive training at once through video conferencing. Sessions do not need to be restricted because of the size of the space or the speaker’s voice volume. Video conferencing technology allowed training facilities to continue operating in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.

A video conferencing platform can deliver all elements of training sessions, such as registration, digital whiteboard features, breakout sessions, pre recorded content, one-on-one interaction with instructors, and test-taking.

Employees are also more nimble; they can enter meetings with various groups, outside speakers, and bosses with ease. Usually, it would take a lot of time to travel between different rooms, buildings, or cities to acquire the same training.

3. Project Management 

Industries continuously adapt to a changing world as technology advances. Because business is growing more quickly, executing project improvements is proving to be more important. Effective communication, specifically the ability to deliver objectives, updates, and other information to the participants and/or stakeholders, is the core element of successful project management.

Collaborative meetings can take place on a regular basis to manage deliverables, regardless of the project management methodology a business selects, such as Scrum. In addition to reviewing use cases and doing code and quality reviews, teams might also update project plans and manage risks. This ability can reduce costs and save time.

A project manager can reach out to people and teams to successfully communicate by using a video conferencing technology that is already in place. Projects can develop and progress more quickly when project management is efficient.

Collaboration with customers:

Meetings with customers or clients foster relationships and have an impact on success. The level of participation and client stickiness can also be directly impacted by the individuals present in meetings.

Users of video conferencing software can express themselves through gestures and nonverbal inflections. It eliminates communication’s unknowns and promotes richer, more human connections by giving everyone a voice and a face at the table, even when interacting across the globe.

These requirements are met by video conferencing, which also lowers the cost of sustaining customer relationships and guarantees that customers engage with the right people and at the right time without complicated scheduling or travel.

Sales Presentations and Negotiations:

The most typical use case for video conferencing is probably a webinar in the presenting style. Presentations might be conducted over video conferencing while the pandemic is ongoing. Video platforms are used by sales teams for presentations, contract discussions, and other agreements. Interacting with each other, reviewing documents, and working on contracts with the parties concerned can improve outcomes in a time- and money-efficient way when due diligence is involved.

Face-to-face interaction improves communication. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also evolved into a way of life for people both professionally and emotionally. As a result, businesses should anticipate continuing development and innovation in video conferencing for years to come.

Video Conferencing trends in 2023:

Users now have higher expectations for the quality of features in their video services as well as for the performance of the video as video adoption grows. Organizations are also intensely focused on enhancing the video experience for desktops, conference rooms, and home offices to guarantee that staff members are productive wherever they are. So in 2023 the video conferencing trends will include the following:

1. Evolution of hybrid workplace:

Compared to before the pandemic, the office atmosphere has radically changed. In the pre-pandemic office, you might work with anybody you physically encountered there on any given day. If someone wasn’t there, they most likely weren’t working that day. Now, it’s likely that most of the individuals you work with on any given day work remotely, so you can’t just stroll up to their desk and ask them a question or strike up a conversation.

In order to connect and collaborate in person, regardless of who is present in the office, one method to address this issue is by making video available to every remote employee and in meeting spaces.

2. Office studio and home studio

During the pandemic people were able to connect but then video quality and image quality was being compromised.

Video manufacturers are capitalizing on the trend of upgrading home offices by providing kits and bundles for remote employees that often include a webcam and headset in addition to newer models of higher-quality webcams for those in client-facing jobs who need to make a good impression over video.

This is an ongoing issue. Building on a home office or studio is still in progress. Webcams and microphones of higher quality as well as add-ons like acoustic wall panels, green screens, and ring lights continue to be popular commodities.

3. Bonding with the team remotely

Though working from home seems good but then it leads to isolation so remote team bonding could help here. A few recent applications, such as Bramble and Zoom’s recently unveiled Spots, are attempting to solve this problem. In contrast to a normal video meeting, these apps aim to establish a virtual workspace where you can watch your remote coworkers functioning on their own projects. Even though everyone is silently working, they are all free to look around at any time to see who else is around and strike up a discussion.

For remote workers, simply recognizing their coworkers’ faces can have a significant impact. Since these apps are young, they will undoubtedly change until they find the ideal dynamic.

Important Takeaways:

  • With the use of the technology called “video conferencing,” people may hold face-to-face meetings in real time and often at minimal or no expense, even if they are in separate locations.
  • The global COVID-19 pandemic greatly increased the use of video conferencing.
  • Depending on the dependability and speed of the data connection, the video conference’s stability and quality may change.
  • Using video conferencing technology for business meetings, training sessions for the workplace, or speaking to board members are just a few examples.
  • Video conferencing can be done in many different ways, including on desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets.
  • Video conferencing has given rise to many trends and in 2023 things are going to change as far as video conferencing technology is concerned so people can work in peace from remote locations and also enjoy what they are doing.
  • The Video conferencing software market is expanding and this accelerated during the pandemic. Having high quality video conferencing tools is a mere necessity for businesses today.