Videotelephony, or videophones, were first conceived as far back as the early 20th century. Though at first the idea of being able to talk to and see somebody in real time was fantastical at first, 100 years later it’s pretty much the norm.

Videophones in the early 1970s, when video conferencing was first starting to make waves, were not able to communicate over certain distances. Videos were low quality and made with the intention of being used on a person to person basis.

Now, video conferencing offers high-quality video and sound to bring people in remote locations to the people that matter. This is why it’s increasingly becoming important in businesses, especially when quick decisions need to be made and groups of people need to come together.

However, it’s not just business applications that video conferencing has. As with any industry, communication is key; so it’s not surprising that its uses are being explored in places other than the boardroom.

Telemedicine
After an operation, patients are often expected to return to hospital or to their doctor for regular check-ups. With Telemedicine, there’s no need for them to leave their house.

Being able to see the patient over a video link means that doctors can make quick assessments of a home patient’s condition and eradicate the need to keep travelling to appointments. Not only does this cut costs, but it saves time.

It’s now also possible for surgeons and experts to contact each other during difficult operations. By being able to see exactly what is going on through a screen, surgeons who are miles away from the actual operation could save lives remotely.

boardroom
Image Source | Flickr

Courtroom video
For many years now, video links have provided courtrooms with a more secure way of bringing potentially dangerous criminals to trail. The costs and risk of transporting prisoners can sometimes be high, so video communications are often chosen in such cases.

On the same note, there are sometimes situations in which key witnesses are not able to attend. This is another application of video communication software.

The bonus of being able to read body language as well as hear the voices of those involved makes video calling second to them actually being there, say video communication expert’s conferencegenie.co.uk:

“There will always be situations where a face-to-face meeting is required. However, in most cases, video conferencing is as good as the real thing.

“Being able to see the people you are talking with means that you are better able to read responses through body language. This makes debates easier and, coupled with the ability to share and review data together in real-time, increases productivity.”

Cash machines
A new kind of ATM is set to take the banking world by storm thanks to its innovative use of video communication software.

The SelfServ not only offers what standard ATMs do; it will also give users the option to talk to a real-time bank teller, and conduct the kind of transactions usually reserved for inside the bank.

This is a great move for those who are unable to get to a bank, or who live in remote locations.

There are so many applications for the video call, it’s likely that it’s bound to be integrated into everyday life sooner than you think.

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