Head in the clouds

The globalisation of the audio visual sector has placed an ever-increasing demand on remote technologies, the implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) and the need for wider global connectivity.

Byline: Timothy Buttery

One of the ways in which smart devices have opened the door to greater connectivity is through cloud-based video conferencing. Instead of physically entering a room outfitted with necessary software and hardware, anyone can log in to a video conferencing application and immediately connect with others—visually and aurally.

There are obvious benefits to this, but not every industry has jumped on board. Questions still remain around what is next in the meeting/conferencing space.

The emergence of new technologies, like Microsoft Hololens, prompt further discussion around strategies of audiovisual integration, as well as the critical reliance on security and safeguarding.

Here are the top concepts to keep an eye on, as cloud video conferencing looks to revolutionise global connectivity.

Facilitation

The rise in remote work in recent years has supported an upward trend in audiovisual integration across the board.

A study from The journal of New Technology Work and Employment notes that “4.2 million people spent at least half of their working time carrying out work at, from or in the same grounds and buildings as their home in 2014.”

Because of this rise in remote work, Steven Watts in the Journal of Network and Security argues that “Many businesses are now turning to soft tokens as a means to secure remote workers.”

As small hardware devices with a built in LCD, soft tokens provide two-factor authentication where needed most. These are utilised to increase security and login to VPN externally.

Another way audiovisual technologies are facilitating a global community of workers, is through home office set up.

Logitech is one company that is revolutionising video conferencing. The PTZ Pro 2 has HD 1080p video quality, 10x lossless full HD zoom, multiple mounting options and a Premium Logitech camera lens that make this one of the primary tools for remote workers to tune into office meetings.

Connectivity facilitating global workforce

Because of the emergence of the cloud in business and enterprise, employees are now tuning in from home to save time, energy, and a hasty commute to work; leading to better work-life balance and greater productivity.

A study from the Quarterly Journal of Economics trialed working from home at a NASDAQ-listed Chinese travel agency; and the results speak for themselves.

Working from home led to a 13 percent performance increase, and after the success of the trial became evident, the company implemented the option to work from home for all employees. By the year’s end, they were boasting a 22 percent performance increase across the board.

Augmented reality: business or science fiction?

The Bulletin Ecological Society of America believes that “Although technology now exists to enable high‐quality virtual participation in meetings, participants frequently encounter technological and sociocultural obstacles.”

This means that third world countries, or countries in which political instability is affecting communications, require greater audio visual technologies that are seperate from their existing networks.

A recent development that aims to counter some of these obstacles is Microsoft Hololens, already being utilised by Ford in the US.

Hololens is likened to having a computer on your face, with the ability to run Microsoft Office, check emails, and utilise 3D imaging through simple hand gestures. Hololens has been widely received despite its astronomical price of roughly AUD$4000

Additionally, Hololens allows integration of a number of different devices into an augmented reality that has seen wide success in the medical arena, particularly when training students. People utilising the technology can merge onto one screen from different rooms and all be editing the screen in real-time. Similar to Google Docs, this collaborative software offers next-level functionality for the remote worker.

But with every positive is a negative. The primary downfall to this emerging augmented reality in the business landscape is purely from a price and efficiency perspective. The controls still need adjusting and learning the technology requires staff training and upskilling. All the same, the technological advances emerging from the AV sector mean businesses can equip their remote workforces with the developments it requires to succeed.

Want to know more about cloud technologies? Don’t miss the  ‘UC Talks’, run by the Interactive Multimedia Collaborative Communications Association (IMCCA) in conjunction with Integrate at this year’s expo.  

The program will cover topics around UC Ecosystems and the Millennial Workflow; Transitioning to a Digital Workplace; AV and IT in the age of PC collaboration; Workspaces of Tomorrow; and Finding the Right Technology Solutions for Huddle Rooms, see the full program here.

Integrate expo kicks off from the 22-24 of August in the ICC Sydney, Darling Harbour – register now for free.

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