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    2 min read

    The Future of Communications

     

    Episode 82

    We have all become very familiar with video conferencing over the last couple of years since many meetings have moved online. Once limited to specific events or meetings, video conferencing is now commercialised to the point where people use this technology on an everyday basis.

    Webinars are everywhere. People meet online multiple times a day. Sometimes virtual meetings or events go on for so long, that you get fatigued just from participating. Some recent global in-person conferences have started up again. These have been well attended, likely due to the lack of anything happening over the previous two years).

    In saying that, people are still wary of health issues. Interestingly, some people report they choose to attend smaller, more specific items on the event’s agenda, then watch the larger keynotes online.

    So what direction is business communication heading in?

    Virtual Reality for Businesses

    Virtual Reality (VR) started off successfully, however, it did not progress as far as business communications go.

    Let’s break it down: The concept was great. It had the potential to make users feel as if they had been transported to a different setting, with the convenience of not having to leave the house.

    However, the early limitations were deal breakers. For example, having to wear large goggles that you cannot see out of was a problem, especially when you can’t see the keyboard that you need to type on! Virtual Reality as a form of communication for businesses had a way to go.

    Augmented Reality for Businesses

    Enter Augmented Reality (AR). This had you viewing the outside world as you normally would through a pair of reading glasses, with information being overlayed on the screen in front of you. At a raw level, people could have virtual monitors and be able to see their keyboards, however, this technology lent itself to much more advanced (and productive) applications.

    Workers in a factory could be shown how to perform a new task – just by looking at the machine that needs to be worked on. The AR glasses would overlay instructions and pictures on what to do and how to do it, walking you through the tasks. The concept is that even a person who didn’t know a lot about a task would be guided through it, teaching them along the way.

    Conceptually, anything was possible if there was someone working with you (even if it was a virtual assistant) showing you exactly how to complete a task.

    Holograms

    Things have progressed further with holograms. A hologram is like a 3D image of yourself (or an object), created with light. It’s the sort of thing that had previously been shown in sci-fi TV shows but is now becoming mainstream.

    Many companies are now venturing into this space, like Google’s Project Starline which is an experimental video communication method that “allows a user to see a 3D model of who they’re communicating with”.

    Matsuko allows you to use new model iPhones (with smart cameras) to capture 3D images and project them into AR glasses.

    Proto Hologram has developed people-sized boxes used for showing the hologram image to normal people (without using headsets). You would capture the image of yourself in one location and literally send it to the location of the box to display. It’s all quite interesting to see where this is going. They even can pre-record yourself, store it in the cloud, and then download it to the presentation box when needed.

    Although the technology may be a little expensive now, adoption drives prices down. In a few years, we will see pricing that is much more affordable to mainstream businesses for general use.

    One thing is clear: We do not seem to be heading back to planes, hotels and in-person meetings anywhere near the level of where they were previously.

     

    Wine of the Week

    And the Wine of the Week is a 2017 Château du Grand Puch: Cuvée Anne Laure Bordeaux Supérieur!

    A lovely drop with plum, cherry and vanilla taste!

    4/𝟱⭐