Video Conferences And Kids

videonconferencing educationYou wouldn’t necessarily think that schoolchildren are going to be at that video conference, but remote collaboration is fast becoming a regular part of the classroom and other learning environments for all ages.

For example, High Tech Youth Studio empowers students aged 8-25 in underserved communities in the Pacific with Lights, camera and creativity. This program originated in Otara, New Zealand ten years ago and has grown from six students on the first day to 30 on the second day and over 600 participants today. According to the article, this program is designed to be a safe place for youth to expand their horizons:

” … the range of creative expression will be nearly infinite. The after-school facilities will offer state-of-the-art learning where youth can experiment with animation, robotics, engineering, website design, video game development, software coding and music and video production.”

On the other side of the world, Kids build robots, explore engineering ingenuity, and do it with the help of video conferencing. The Robot Garage sends boxes of parts to places like a library in remote areas and then connect in a video conference to a room of kids exploring the science of robotics. According to Beth Weigel, programming and events coordinator for Juneau Public Libraries:

“The event is a combination of a video conference with the Museum of Flight, using the OWL (online learning) system to connect with them to talk about the history of robots, where things are going in the field and the kind of things they can be used for such as in space, in the home and just everyday use,”

It’s exciting to see what technology is being used to do in education all over the globe. WhyGo has seen a lot of changes happen in video conferencing and we look forward to seeing what will happen next!

US Agency Uses Video Conferences To Serve Clients

videoconferencing clientsWhen the local Social Security office in Barstow, California closed, it left residents facing a drive to the Victorville office to meet and discuss problems they may encounter. Along with the distance, many seniors in particular do not have transportation for such a drive. To solve this problem, the Barstow Senior Center has set up a facility where Locals will be able to use video-conferencing on Fridays.

Budget cuts forced the Social Security Administration to consolidate offices, but this innovative solution to the problem gives residents access to needed government services on Fridays from 9 to 11:30am. There are plans for more flexibility if many people are coming in and more time is necessary. The ability to set up appointments or scheduling other times will be simple now the basic equipment has been installed.

This is not the only place a government agency has used the flexibility of video conference technology to meet with those needing services; according to the article, an island in American Samoa is helping citizens with their needs remotely. In fact, a quick search of “video conferencing” will usually result in one or two news items about such services being instituted in many countries all over the world.

In the years since WhyGo started the use of remote conferencing technology has grown dramatically. We’ve watched that growth from the middle of the activity, because we’ve grown, too! Now there’s over 3,500 video conferencing facilities on the network, three global operation teams, and much more is on the horizon.

It just makes sense to us that you will see this technology used more and more in everyday life. And it really makes sense to use it for meetings that used to involve a lot of travel and waiting room time!




Telepresence and Auto Repair Work Well Together

auto repair and telepresenceAudi, the carmaker, is initiating the use of telepresence technology in some dealership repair shops. Autoblog looks into this innovation in the article “Audi To Use This Telepresence Robot To Fix Cars“. There’s even a video of the robot in action.

It’s not just a crazy new way to raise prices for car repair. It’s a new way to improve vehicle service by allowing a mechanic to collaborate remotely with the Audi Technical Assistance consultants and Technical Field Managers. The auto industry has used robots for years during the manufacturing process, and this is a natural progression that includes telepresence in the mix.

The Audi Robotic Telepresence (ART) droid is being used in a pilot program right now, with plans to expand to 100 dealers in the US. In the shop, ART follows the mechanic around and is controlled remotely by the experts at Audi. It has a diagnostic boroscope for tiny crevices and a handheld camera to give a glimpse into places it cannot go, and it is equipped with multiple cameras, microphone, and speakers for two-way communication.

This use of technology to link automakers and technicians in the shop holds promise of improving the design of the cars in the future as well as insight for the one trying to figure out what’s wrong and fixing it. Putting the mechanic and designer together with telepresence means the designer can see what happens in real use and get practical ideas for solving the problem at the manufacturing level. It also means the mechanic can get insight into fixing your car from the person who made it.

WhyGo has been around the video conference and telepresence industry long enough to see a lot of changes take place. It’s exciting to see what will come next, and we plan on helping it happen.



Telemedicine Saves Lives In Rural Areas

telemedicineVideo conferences aren’t just saving money and travel costs for business. Rural clinics increasingly turn to telemedicine to save lives. According to Avera Health, in the last year they have hosted over 4,000 video encounters between rural medical clinics in the US. Many of the western states, like North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota are wide and sparsely populated, which means residents are hours away from the larger hospitals and too far away to travel in an emergency. It is difficult to retain a physician nearby because there isn’t enough business to support a practice.

At the same time, people in rural areas do need medical care. When a 72-year-old rancher had a punctured lung from an encounter with a 1,400-lb cow, the small South Dakota clinic was able to connect with the e-Emergency service in Sioux Falls within seconds.

Using video conference technology, the staff in Sioux Falls coached the clinic’s physician through the unfamiliar process of inserting a chest tube to drain the blood collecting in the rancher’s lung. The nurses in Sioux Falls charted the medications so the nurses in the clinic could keep their hands on the patient. The larger hospital could schedule a helicopter to pick up the patient and transfer records so tests would not be duplicated.

Telemedicine allows a small rural clinic to attract quality physicians who would not be able to do their residency without the support of a larger network. The technology has been a lifesaver for clinics near isolated vacation spots, too, since the need for emergency services is too sporadic to support a regular emergency room but multiple victims can arrive at the same time and overwhelm the facility.

It’s exciting to see the many uses videoconference facilities can be put to, and the WhyGo network has over 3,500 available all over the globe. What will you use video technology to do?