January 14, 2016

Video Conferencing Opinions

You know what they say about opinions. It's what shaped the opinion that matters. Understanding how the opinion is shaped will help you understand who you are talking to better. I am a sticker for video conference quality. Good enough, is not, in my opinion. Here is what shaped it.
Imagine if your first car was a Bugatti. The best of the best without question. Once you're used to the features and pure quality of the vehicle, that becomes your personal standard. Well, my introduction into video conferencing was as a designer of the Telesuite (now called the Polycom RPX). This is still considered by many as the best immersive telepresence system. In this form it was designed in 2002-3 and the final units shipped in late 2015.

This is what I lived and breathed and designed

I became used to VNOCs creating and managing meetings involving 8 separate codecs in a point to point call over a high bandwidth network with QOS. Life sized people looking right at me was the expectation. It only dawned on me several years after my introduction to video conferencing that there was anything different.

Therefore, I look at products from a top down approach and not the other way around. It's always "what compares to immersive telepresence?". This is why I struggle saying good things about substandard products.

At the end of the day I want everyone to use video conferencing. My goal is that everyone who uses video conferencing has the best experience possible. Sometimes I come across poorly when faced with reviewing yet another WebRTC "solution", for example, with poor resolution, poor framerate and a poor UI. But I can't help this. I don't want the non-industry people out there to be faced with poor products. At the end of the day, if someone has a poor experience with video conferencing, they become less likely to ever use it again, and that hurts all of us in the industry. Let's work harder to make better products.

As always, follow me on Twitter @bryanhellard or connect with me on LinkedIn

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