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Unit 7. Videoconferencing

George Jetson, a character in the 1970s cartoon, was not terribly futuristic when he used his telephone that enabled him to see the person to whom he was talking. Videoconferencing, as it is known today, has been under development in the research labs at Pacific Bell since the 1920s. The project, referred to as “picture phone”, is in the form of a desktop videoconferencing system. Videoconferencing rooms have been in existence at AT&T since the 1960s, where they are used to support large corporate meetings, including the annual shareholder’s meeting.

Videoconferencing is conducting a conference between two or more participants at different sites by using computer networks to transmit audio and video data. For example, a point-to-point (two-person) video conferencing system works much like a video telephone. Each participant has a video camera, microphone, and speakers mounted on his or her computer. As the two participants speak to one another, their voices are carried over the network and delivered to the other speakers, and whatever images appear in front of the video camera appear in a window on the other participant’s monitor.

Multipoint videoconferencing allows three or more participants to sit in a virtual conference room and communicate as if they were sitting right next to each other. Until the mid 90s, the hardware costs made videoconferencing prohibitively expensive for most organizations, but that situation is changing rapidly. Many analysts believe that videoconferencing will be one of the fastest-growing segments of the computer industry in the latter half of the decade.

Conduct effective meetings, make presentations to clients, and meet new business prospects in distant cities without leaving town. Videoconferencing makes it possible. By eliminating travel time, you can actually complete one-hour meetings in one hour, increase the impact and results of your presentation, and save on the costs of travel, lodging and entertainment.

Other benefits of videoconferencing include:

Conduct several meetings in one day instead of traveling to attend just one

Express your ideas clearly with slides and other visual aids

Present graphs or other documents right on your laptop

Access Internet information during your videoconference

Videotape your conference for future viewing

Instant access to live online help at the touch of a button

Schedule and check room availability 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Date: 2016-04-22; view: 150

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