Where does the room-based video conferencing market stand today and what will it look like in the future?  That’s a great question and one I’ll be discussing at Interop along with Eric Krapf, editor at No Jitter, John Lamarque of Cisco and Troy Trenchard who leads Unified Communications Applications at Avaya. The four of us will be participating in a collaboration session on Wednesday, April 2, from 4-5pm regarding the future of room-based video conferencing.

I’ve always thought that video teleconferencing needs to support ad hoc meetings between users in better ways than it does today.  How often do you see people walk out of a formal meeting and break into pairs in the middle of a hallway for important follow-on discussion? There is not much support for this type of behavior in planned, room-based conferencing and is probably why presence and availability platforms (i.e. Jabber) were so important.  It’s also why research shows that as end users increasingly opt for informal, desktop- and mobile-based video, while the room-based video market has stalled.

Yet, the higher quality and group collaboration aspects of room-based systems remain appealing, and the business case can often still be made based on travel savings.  To me, room-based systems should focus more on what differentiates them from a desktop session – that more than one person is proximate within the room endpoint.  I’m excited to discuss some research about the importance of proximity to work interactions and how to make that in-room experience more productive and valuable for participants on both ends of a conference call.  It’s important that users should can share and access visual data (documents, design files, images, videos, etc) that live on our laptops, mobile devices, and the cloud.

Some of the things I hope to discuss more during the session at Interop is the growing diversity of video experiences in room-based conferencing. This growing diversity is due in part to the convergence of the IT and AV markets. This convergence has created a new space in the room-based video market – one that’s unique in that it’s centered around collaboration – not just with the equipment in the room but with one another. Collaboration after all is fundamentally a human-centered activity that incorporates social hierarchy, the flow of ideas, and multiple phases of creativity.  It is easy for technology to get in the way of, rather than support, a collaborative meeting. It’s challenging to fully grasp how to leverage some of the recent advances in collaborative software for your own business, but it’s an important area that will have real impact on productivity.

Here’s a short intro video Interop did with the speakers in the group.  I hope to see you there!

If you’d like to try to meet with me before the Interop session, please shoot me a note. Make sure to follow @Mersive and me (@The_Visualist) on Twitter for more updates from Interop.

Hope to see you there!

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About Christopher Jaynes

Jaynes received his doctoral degree at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he worked on camera calibration and aerial image interpretation technologies now in use by the federal government. Jaynes received his BS degree with honors from the School of Computer Science at the University of Utah. In 2004, he founded Mersive and today serves as the company's Chief Technology Officer. Prior to Mersive, Jaynes founded the Metaverse Lab at the University of Kentucky, recognized as one of the leading laboratories for computer vision and interactive media and dedicated to research related to video surveillance, human-computer interaction, and display technologies.

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