What is a video conference?
Videoconferencing is a system with video cameras connected via the Internet or a special connection, with the help of which people in different places can see and communicate with each other without traveling to meetings ( definition from the Cambridge Dictionary ).
Video calling, videoconferencing and videoconferencing are synonyms.
History of videoconferencing
- In 1870, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the concept of transmitting pictures along with audio was born.
- In 1927, Bell Labs connects for the first time with the president of AT&T in New York and officials in Washington via two-way audio and one-way video.
- In 1935, the word video appears in English. Before that, they used visual radio (visual radio).
- In 1956, AT&T creates a prototype "picture telephone" and makes the first ever video call.
- In 1964, Bell Labs makes the first ever transcontinental video call.
- In 1967, the term "video conference" was used for the first time.
- In 1982, Compression Labs creates the first commercial video conferencing system. It was uncomfortable, huge, and cost $250,000, and each call came out to $1,000 (roughly $700,000 and $2,700, respectively, in today's terms).
- In 1992, professors at Cornell University create CU-SeeMe for Mac, the first high-quality video conferencing application at the time. In 1994 the program was released on Windows
- 1994 saw the first commercial webcam under $100 ($177 now) - QuickCam
- In 2001, the Lindbergh operation took place - the world's first operation carried out using video communication. At the same time, Nick Robertson, a correspondent for CNN, took advantage of satellite video conferencing technology. He conducted the first live broadcast from the military zone in Afghanistan
- In 2012, the Mind videoconferencing program set a world record for the largest online training in the world: 12,012 participants online, an entry in the Guinness Book of Records
Advantages and disadvantages of video conferencing
Although the goal of videoconferencing and live meetings is the same - to communicate - it is achieved in different ways. Each of them has pros and cons. Let's give them so that you understand if you need a video call.
- You don't depend on the place
Connect by video from anywhere in the world . Do you and your interlocutor have the Internet, a camera, a computer or a phone? Theoretically, this is enough to call from Australia to America, add a member of the expedition to Antarctica to the conference, and even a friend who flew to the ISS. Video calling is literally limitless.
- Video calling is cheaper than a face-to-face meeting
In continuation of the previous paragraph, you also save! No need to fly halfway across the planet or even farther. Internet traffic is definitely cheaper than transatlantic 🙂
Completing geographic points, video calls are faster than any other way to see and talk to people far away. After all, it is enough just to press one button!
- Easy to record a meeting
To record your personal meeting on video, you need additional equipment and knowledge. How to record a video conference? Click on "Record" during a call - and you're done! Download it from iMind for 30 days and keep it on your computer forever.
- Share your screen
Not every physical meeting room has 12 screens, each of which is connected to conference laptops. Video conferencing, on the other hand, makes it possible to simultaneously demonstrate screens to interlocutors. It will be useful when comparing layout and design, for example. Or a technical task with the work performed.
Advantages of a face-to-face meeting compared to a video conference:
- Easier to understand the interlocutor
Even the strongest webcam will not fully convey facial expressions and gestures. Catching an important sign that the person on the other side of the table is nervous, lying, or thinking that you are cheating is much more difficult via video.
- Easier to create the right atmosphere for dialogue
Arranging pizza get-togethers discussing an acute problem is useful in theory. You don't go out for coffee, lunch, or the park over a video call. Non-standard meeting places are useful in discussions, but this cannot be done online. Even if your interlocutor puts a beach with palm trees in the background 🙂
- No one is safe from failures
Technology can easily fail. The Internet lags, the headphones work intermittently, the microphone “robust”, and even the electricity can suddenly turn off ... Live meetings do not depend so much on equipment.
Types of video conferencing
The simplest video conference is your regular one-on-one call.
Pick up a friend, say hello to him. Here is the video call.
Group video conference
The same, only from 3 participants. You hear and see each other.
Add your wife and another friend to a call with a friend - you get a group video conference.
Divides participants into 2 groups: listeners and speakers. Speakers hear and see each other. Listeners, on the other hand, have a one-way connection - they see and hear only the speakers.
Get a job with a friend in a government structure and report on your work to numerous colleagues in a conference call.
Remember the seminar at the institute, when they talk theory for hours? A webinar is the same, only online and without exam tickets. The narrator shares knowledge with a large audience and receives feedback through audio or text.
Resign from the state structure and tell everyone how to get there. Hooray, you hosted a webinar.
Where to use videoconferencing?
Online schools have become real only thanks to video communication. Conduct lessons, communicate with students, check assignments - all this is possible thanks to video conferencing.
Lindbergh's successful operation, in which a 68-year-old patient's gallbladder was removed by controlling a robot via video link, proved the effectiveness of this method in practice. Now telemedicine is used not only for operations, but also for daily communication with a doctor and making an appointment.
Video communication is widespread in courts. It allows attendance at the meeting by participants who are impossible or very difficult to bring there physically. In the coronavirus, video communication in court has become the main form of communication. The pandemic will not stop justice!
Connect with colleagues and partners from all over the world. Where ordinary telephone conversations do not convey the full spectrum, and a personal meeting is expensive and difficult to implement, videoconferencing comes to the rescue.
How to choose and create a free video conference, read the instructions .