This extremely funny clip serves as a good demonstration to the state of the art in conferencing. But if humankind can ride 30 meter waves, maybe there is a chance we can improve here as well.
Video conferencing is going to hit mainstream – the technology and bandwidth are available for couple of years , but now the software and hardware are also ubiquitous.
Smart phones and new laptops have an excellent built-in camera and microphone built-in and all the new messengers have built-in Video calling.
I have been evangelizing video usage in EMC Beer Sheva new site, and while it takes some time to get used to , it is hard to go back.
Don’t be surprised if the breakthrough here would come from a new player and not the traditional players.
Unified Messaging – while there is no technology barrier to get it done, I know very few people who actually get all their email, phone, cellular ,calendar, voice mail and SMS information in aggregated fashion,in the same location and accessible through multiple views and devices. This is quite weird since the technology is around for a long time.
Even my $300 Cisco smart VOIP phone is no smarter than the $100 Panasonic wireless phone at home or the $10 unizen phone. No integration with email and messenger, no integration with cellular , no video capabilities. This seems like a product management issue. Again, who ever gets it right and create the “DropBox” of unified messaging would “surprisingly” create a huge company.
High (Normal) Quality Voice Conferencing – at least 50% of the voice conferencing I attend have a horrible sound quality. People drop of, people can’t connect , there is background noise from traffic, annoying echoes, low sound quality and the list goes on. While the market is “commoditized” in theory this is , IMHO, BS. While there are many free conferencing solutions they all suck, pardon my French. To make matters worst , the paid services are just as bad. I would be very happy to pay 10$ a month for a great audio conferencing service that always works, has easy sign on, great sound quality, built-in recording and email\SMS reminders.