There are a lot of issues that go into diplomatic talks between countries. Things like security, travel, war zones, and more, come to mind, but there needs to be a way for the leaders in even warring countries to talk to one another and maybe work out a solution for the good of all.
Recently, the Eurasian integration discussed in a Moscow-Astana video conference illustrated the advantages of face-to-face discussion of delicate subjects. Reports by attendees on attitudes in the various countries toward Eurasian integration differed widely in perspective and the current conflict in the Ukraine complicated matters. Many Central Asian states are “watching the fight and waiting for one of the sides to win” while others at the same conference thought foreign influence or Russian Imperialism was stoking the fires of conflict.
So many viewpoints in one room can be combustible as well as a security nightmare, but the ability to express one’s opinion safely via technology provides effective communication without fear. It’s interesting to see how video conference technology has changed the face of diplomacy, and we look forward to seeing what happens in the future.
In the past ten years we’ve seen video conferencing go global with a passion and vigor that proves it isn’t a trendy fad. People need to communicate, people want to communicate face-to-face, and people appreciate the convenience (and sometimes the safety) that using video conference technology provides.
Instead of air fare, security details, and scary situations, a diplomat can discuss sensitive matters with other diplomats and know they are communicating privately and successfully with video conferencing.
You 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!
When 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!
Audi, 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.