Sometimes reading "lol" doesn't deliver the same experience as hearing your friend laugh at your jokes. Similarly, hearing your colleagues voice doesn’t offer the same information as reading their expressions as well. Whether it’s used to chat with friends or to discuss details of a current project at work, the increasingly popular and evolving video chat is a more personal way of interacting with people using the audio and visual aspects of the technology.
Recent research indicates that teenagers and adults in their early 20s are very comfortable appearing “live” in front of computers or mobile devices, while the segment of consumers that use video chat is growing as face-to-face video becomes a common part of their daily lives.
As a simple technology, video chat only requires purchasing a webcam and/or downloading a plug-in to start chatting. Once you have your webcam, all you have to do is download a program on your computer or an app on your phone, and start chatting.
Additionally, with the emergence of WebRTC, a communications standard that enables real-time video and audio chat within a Web browser, key players in the video industry are joining forces to create a standard that offers improved quality, lower latency, cross-platform compatibility and more. While video conferencing standards have been around for awhile, a browser standard has not. WebRTC enables us to make face-to-face video a normal part of any application, allowing for more effective collaboration and interaction with others.
People typically video chat to get more face-to-face time with loved ones, but just as instant messaging moved from “lols” with friends to a customer support tool for Fortune 500 companies, so has video chat. Now, the technology is a form of online communication that enriches lives and increases business efficiency and effectiveness.
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Recently, Mashable shared some video chat benefits that make our lives easier, as well as enhance our experiences. Video chat connects people with their heroes as Major League Baseball hosts regular “Chatting Cage” events, inviting fans to engage in Q&A’s with athletes. Additionally, it enables easy collaboration. For example, Double Robotics developed a robot that combines Segway-style movement with video presence that is delivered through an iPad, so remote workers can maintain physical presence from anywhere.
Moreover, video chat makes healthcare accessible and affordable. For instance, 2nd MD helps its patients access care anytime, anywhere from specialists across the U.S. Lastly, video chat revolutionizes brick and mortar retail, as one business, Bridgestone, installed kiosks in stores where golfers can chat with experts to get advice on golf ball selection.
A variety of industries such as financial services, pharmaceutical, ecommerce, care companies, and more are engaging with video chat every day to enhance their businesses and customer service. The technology of video chat is here to stay as it drastically improves all aspects of communication and saves valuable money and time.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein