Mobile conferencing's pros and cons

You heard it (read it) on the Grapevine

Mobile conferencing's pros and cons

August 20, 2012
whyGo Gazette

The world of mobile technology has expanded at an alarming rate over the past handful of years. Products and concepts that were previously considered to be nothing more than the dreams of science fiction are now in the palms of our hands. Millions of people all over the world carry computers in their pockets stronger than the tools used to get man to the moon fifty years ago. Our mobile smart phones and tablets are now able to effectively link us with remote parties in face-to-face interactions. whyGo corporate account is a very powerful and unique tool that can really improve communication and efficiency if used to its full potential. Let's take a look at some of the strengths and weaknesses of this particular medium and how it can be applied to the world today.

Why use mobile conferencing?

For one, mobile conferencing is a great tool for workers on-the-go. Many businesses of all kinds employ remote workers and traveling workers to accomplish a variety of tasks. Being able to connect with employers and peers while on the move will help keep everyone up to date and it can lead to finding solutions for problems or concerns that may arise. It's a good idea for any business with traveling or remote employees to prepare mobile conferencing tools for use.

That being said, the technology isn't all about business. Mobile conferencing can help people stay in touch with their friends and loved ones while away from home. If you're on a trip and want to speak to your family, all you'd have to do is launch the app and call them. You can have face-to-face interaction in the palm of your hand. It's a great alternative to phone conversations because it offers a more intimate setting for conversation and it gives you the opportunity to share a little bit more about what's going on with each other at a given time.

The Pitfalls

There are, of course, a number of instances in which mobile conferencing would not be ideal. Primarily, lengthy and involved business meetings should not be conducted through mobile conferencing. It is more difficult to see and hear a variety of parties through a mobile device, for one; another concern is that mobile conferencing tends to have more distractions than a grounded desktop setup. Mobile technology is still a fair bit behind the leading PCs, too, so if you're expecting high quality and seamless interaction, you might want to consider something other than a mobile device.

That being said, products like iPads and other tablets are improving upon these issues. A larger screen makes it easier to see more people and connect with them. A bigger processor also helps with the quality of the video.

Looking Ahead

We may be a ways off from having every employee carrying around a mobile device with video technology equipped, but it certainly is amazing to think about how far video conferencing and mobile devices have come. The ability to hold video chats remotely and on-the-go can lead to improved practices and more dynamic solutions, so we are excited to keep an eye on the future of this technology.

VentureBeat.com's section on mobile phone technology, MobileBeat, recently published an article announcing the new iPhone 4S's support of Vidyo whyGo corporate account technology. Vidyo has been chosen as WhyGo's preferred system for video conferencing software due to their outstanding service and quality. Let's see how this exciting news affects the video conferencing market and the mobile phone experience.

The article discusses a demo presented on the iPhone 4S that has 4 conference participants shown in individual boxes around the screen (held sideways). You can choose to zoom in on one person or have them all on equal size "screens". Audio control features also seem to be present in the application.

Vidyo has utilized the stronger A5 processor of the new iPhone 4S and iPad 2 to provide high quality, real-time video on mobile devices. It seems that the technology associated with bringing big ideas to smaller screen is expanding in big ways every day. It probably won't be long before other phones, such as ones running on the Android OS, will be able to support this technology.

Having the ability to participate in a conference in the palm of your hand coincides with the very basic ideas behind video conferencing - remote connection between people who otherwise can't establish contact. If you're on the road, on a train, or snowed in at home, you can still connect with your peers and get work done. It's really a marvelous innovation!

VidyoMobile can reportedly support conferences with over 100 users, and the app is available now in the app store. Check it out!

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Businesses that are looking to improve their performance and make more profit out of their work should examine how they function and where roadblocks are occurring. It may be that certain employees aren't working up to par, or it may be that the pricing of products and services need to be tweaked. However, one possible problem in business efficiency that has a clear solution is that of communication. If you find that your business is struggling with the speed at which people communicate with each other and get things done, consider adopting mobile video conferencing in your workplace to get things in gear.

A recent article published in ZDNet Asia looks at how one business found mobile video conferencing to be the solution for their needs. The article explains:

"The company operates a chain of retail stores in Malaysia including supermarkets and convenience stores. It started off as a family business in 1957 and has grown into a network of more than 90 stores. Over the past four years, its headcount nearly tripled from 4,000 employees."

This rapid growth in size and employee headcount led to problems with communication that weren't being solved by already existing technology and systems. Mobile video conferencing allows employees to communicate with one another in a fast-paced, effective manner. The ability toinclude multiple people on a conference call even further drives towards solutions.

When considering how to improve practices at your business, take a look at how your employees communicate with you and with one another. If you think that mobile video conferencing could make a difference, give it a shot,. You can test drive with free programs like Skype to see if the potential is there for collaborative solutions, and then invest in business-grade software in the future.

The use of video conferencing in businesses and institutions all over the world has certainly seen more publicity and popularity in the past handful of years, but many are still hesitant to adopt the technology. Cited reasons such as quality control issues, expensive price tags, and compatibility issues with existing technology have kept many businesses and individuals from cashing in on the world of video conferencing. However, a recent study done by Frost & Sullivan shows that the numbers of mobile workers around the world are rising, and this may prove to be a great boon for the video conferencing industry.

Most businesses that employ remote workers are likely to adopt video conferencing in some form or another. E-mail connectivity and phone conversations are not always sufficient forms of communication when collaborating on business and discussing other important factors related to work. Even if businesses are only using free services such as Skype at first, it's become increasingly popular for people to work from a remote location and connect with their bosses and peers through video conferencing.

As more studies come out showing how mobile work can be as productive or even more productive than office jobs, we can expect video conferencing to see a new wave of users and general interest. As service providers develop new systems and strategies that offer high-quality products at competitive prices, more businesses will be able to take the plunge and benefit from the technology.

There's no reason to worry about the future of video conferencing - news like this shows that there are still many exciting things to come for the industry.

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