As there is a rise in air travel and hotel costs, more and more businesses are taking a fresh look at video conferencing models and there is a growing breed of video conferencing solutions being driven by smartphones today.
But really, do the benefits in travel savings outweigh the benefits of traditional in-person meetings? Can an organization become more efficient by replacing conference calls with video conferences? What about reports about early video conferencing technology unreliability? Can video conferencing enhance collaboration with presentations and document sharing? These are some of the questions that small or big organizations need to ask before they decide on the video conferencing solution.
Enabled by smartphone revolution, as a communications enabler, video conferencing connects individuals in real time through audio and video communication over cellular networks enabling visual meetings and collaboration on digital documents and shared presentations.
In the early days, participants connected between central meeting rooms outfitted with video conference hardware, but new technologies allow participants to connect remotely over a network through multiple devices like laptops, desktops, smartphones and tablets.Let us explore the most important considerations and advantages of video conferencing using smartphones, PCs laptops, and tablets:
Advantages of Video Conferencing
Travel Savings: There is an always upswing of air travel prices and this is prompting organizations to look for other cheaper means of meetings. Not only is video conferencing a direct replacement for many in-person business trips, but because there is virtually no cost while adding additional key employees to a virtual meeting; you can easily bring the right team together.
Better Communication: Video conferencing restores many visual cues necessary in long distance communication. Many experts have proved that non-verbal communication constitutes about two-thirds of the communication between people. For example, eye contact enables us to ‘get’ a message from a speaker that voice communication alone may not successfully convey, creating essential social bonds and shared understandings. Audio conferencing and e-mail lose these non-verbal cues.
Driving Increased Productivity: Everyone has experienced the classic never ending ‘conference call from hell,’ and video conferencing all but eliminates such problems, even from large group calls. Important meetings are shorter and more effective. Video conferencing users report saving a minimum of two hours a week with the technology. The interactivity of group collaboration and document sharing greatly increases productivity.
Conferencing Quality: All the pros and cons of video conferencing hinge on quality. Early versions of video conferencing quality had uneven clarity of the audio and video broadcast. Today, these problems still remain for low-end and consumer systems. However, state-of-the-art technology now delivers excellent, reliable audio and video quality, making this one-time disadvantage one of perception, not reality.
5 Video Chat Apps for Video Conferencing for Smartphone: As we are living in a smartphone age, today, it is all about video chatting now. Since nearly everyone has a smartphone capable of handling video chats, it is no surprise that more people are discussing business ventures and opportunities via their phones.
Video chats are not only convenient – we are always with our smartphones so we can hold a video chat wherever or whenever – it also offers the chance to talk to someone else face-to-face. That can sometimes go a long way. While most smartphones come equipped with built-in video software, they may not function across all platforms. Here are some of the ways and applications that can drive video conferencing capabilities in your smartphones.
Skype: It is one of the oldest and probably the most well-known, video chat apps out there. Skype allows its millions of users to video chat, voice chat and instant messaging each other. That is probably the best thing about Skype – the fact that so many people already have it. This is fast becoming a great application for the business community.
Tango: It is a great application that can enable your video conferencing driven by your smartphone, right from your hand. Tango is incredibly simple to use and you don’t need a password, you just need just to enter your phone number, email address and first name. It is also free on iOS, Android and Windows and has some neat features like being able to play darts or tic-tac-toe with friends during a conversation.
Hangouts: Since nearly everyone has Google these days, it shouldn’t be difficult to find another person with Hangouts. Besides the typical features – voice and video chat, instant messaging and group video chat for up to 10 people – you can also share photos and emojis. Also, Hangouts is one of the few apps that allow public, live-streamed video chats.
Viber: It accomplishes all the usual tasks you’re looking for – free text, calling and photo messages – but you can also share items such as files and your location. Plus, Viber allows group calling for up to 40 participants, just in case there is a need to chat with that many people at once.
Camfrog: It allows you to chat with friends, family, and acquaintances, but you can also start or join a chat room if you want to meet new people. In a way, it’s a hybrid between a social discovery app and video chat app, which is pretty cool. It’s free for iOS, Android and Windows.