Top Trends in Video Conferencing

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: February 22, 2011

Video conferencing has become an important part of unified communications for businesses. The technology allows companies to conduct meetings in a face-to-face manner, even if the people are located hundreds of miles away. It is also in a constant state of evolution, as new players appear on the marketplace, new features are added, and video resolution increases.

Trends in Modern Video Conferencing:

Mobile Devices – Mobile devices are now being designed with video conferencing in mind. The BlackBerry Tablet has duel facing cameras and integrated audio processing, and many Android-based tablets offer similar designs. The iPhone 4 also comes with the FaceTime protocol (which allows for smooth video feeds), and the next version of the iPad will have a camera built in to the product.

Consumer Versions – There used to only be high-end versions of video conferencing software available for companies to purchase. This has changed recently as consumer versions and freemium versions have been released to the public. TelePresence now has a cheaper option available, and Nefsis Basic offers two-part videoconferencing for free. This can be of great benefit to small and mid-sized businesses, since they no longer to spend as much to keep up with their larger competitors.

Managed Service Providers – Video conferencing requires a great deal of bandwidth in order to smoothly function. If a momentary spike of lag should occur during a business presentation, it can completely disrupt the meeting. It is thus becoming increasingly common for companies to turn to managed service providers to ensure they have sufficient bandwidth for their video conferencing streams.

Open Source – Several large companies (notably Cisco, Logitech and Polycom) are seeking to establish an open source standard for video conferencing. They want to set up protocols that will allow for multi-screen video screening between the current software and third party systems. If the trend should continue, the interoperability between products will be greatly increased.

Scalable Video Coding – This is a new method for video encapsulation that has gained in popularity as the technology has progressed. It divides the individual frames of a video feed into separate layers that each contain an independent portion of the stream. This can help to maintain the quality of the video stream, even when a substantial amount of network congestion occurs.

Social Networking Integration – Facebook and Skype partnered recently in order to create a consolidated video conferencing platform. Other companies like Cisco have managed to combine social media, voice communication, and videoconferencing into one convenient system (known as Quad). This type of social network integration is likely to grow more common as time progresses.

There is no way to truly predict where video conferencing will head in the future. If the major trends continue and more companies adopt the format, however, it will continue to serve as an integral part of modern office communication.

Featured Research
  • Video Conferencing Showdown

    If you feel overwhelmed by the video conferencing options available for your business, you aren’t alone. There are dozens and dozens of different solutions, ranging from no-cost options to software that will cost thousands. The question is which one is right for your business and how can you get the most value. more

  • Best Video Conferencing Features for Business

    Most businesses are currently underutilizing their video conferencing software because they aren’t aware of the different ways it can be used. Understanding the different features of video conferencing software can be critical to getting the most out of your investment. These features often vary from one option to the next as well, so it's important to do your homework before choosing a specific service. more

  • 9 Ways Video Conferencing Supports Business Growth

    90% of information is transmitted in the human brain is visual, and people process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Video and video conferencing is fastly becoming the new must-have business tool for generating profits and successfully growing your business. In fact, over the past four years, the percentage of companies utilizing video conferencing has jumped from 41% to 58%. more

  • 9 Tips for a Compelling Video Presentation

    Face-to-face communication is the most effective way to collaborate and bring ideas to life in your business. Because of this, many businesses invest heavily in travel budgets so they can meet in person to create and nurture business opportunities. However, video technology has become more accessible, affordable, and user-friendly over the years. In fact, the enterprise video business market will reach $36.5 billion by 2018. more

  • 9 Ways Video Conferencing Gives You a Competitive Advantage

    Embracing video conferencing in your business can bring your company many lucrative and positive benefits that will help you excel through better communication and more efficient collaboration. In fact, 89% of professionals agree that video conferencing reduces the time needed to complete projects or tasks. more