Video conferencing everywhere.
That’s the future. Video calling on every screen, powered by every camera, linking everyone who possesses so much as a smartphone.
This kind of video harmony doesn’t require a single, unifying video conferencing provider to stamp itself the proud VCR victor. It just takes a digital bridge, powered by WebRTC, that lets every provider’s service cross the connectivity divide.
Brave New Video Conferencing World
One of the pioneers in this new order of interoperability–simply the ability for one product to work on or with another product without another connecting technology–is Acano.
Of course, the Acano team lost most of its revolutionary luster when it was bought by IT giant Cisco in January of this year, but the core ideal remains.
Acano boasts native video conferencing that lets anyone join in a group video call by simply clicking a link. There are no downloads, no extra apps, no signing up, no delays. It also means you can chat with any kind of hardware. Be it smartphone, laptop or desktop, Mac or PC, if you’re invited, you’re in.
And that’s how video conferencing ends up everywhere. Whenever someone wants to collaborate, to get a second opinion, to make a first introduction, or just say hello, they click a link and presto. Instant connection.
Riding the Rising WebRTC Tide
Have you ever flown somewhere and tried to jam your plug into a foreign outlet, only to find you need to buy a converter? If you have, you’ll understand the importance of interoperability. Acano is the universal adaptor that can plug into any socket.
It’s built around acronyms such as NAT (Network Address Translation), BFCP (Binary Floor Control Protocol), and ICE (Interactive Connectivity Establishment), which enable cross-communication between otherwise unrelated video conferencing technologies.
WebRTC is the most radical of them all. This common computer language radically changes the way the World Wide Web is woven, and lets software developers integrate their services, such as video and audio capabilities, directly into the major browsers we use every day, such as Google or Firefox. These native forces are what do away with the need for plugins and downloaded apps, and allow free services such as Acano to talk freely with any other service it can track down.
What to Do with All This Interoperability
Acano’s functionality operates through Skype for Business, and it’s an application squarely aimed at the business world. The appeal for Cisco is they can more easily achieve their stated aim of having one in every four boardrooms connected to video conferencing if the system can be immediately connected with a company’s existing hardware and software.
So be it a boardroom telepresence you’re after, or a collaborative, creative huddle room, all you need do is grab the right camera and audio solution and utilize a bridging service such as Acano and you’ve hit the ground running.
There’s no need for a massive overhaul of your existing system, so your team doesn’t have to make major changes in management process or how they communicate with each other.
It makes upskilling your team as easy as making your morning coffee.
Other Native Speakers on the Block
Of course, Acano isn’t the only video conferencing-enabling site to do away with traditional internet communication. In fact, there are many that have shed the idea of unique user accounts all together.
Appear.In lets you create a unique browser-based video chat room for up to eight people without having to sign up for anything, or having to download a bunch of potentially troublesome files.
Talky does the same thing, while also enabling screen sharing to add an extra dynamic to the mix.
And 1Click–which does require more than one click if you need to create an account–allows you to record your browser-based video call, and send email chat invites, rather than copying and pasting the required URL.
These are all based on a technology, or a commitment to open commonality, that is just five years old.
As it is now, you can open a free chat room with a half dozen of your peers from your smartphone as they wander about town on theirs, in an instant.
Given time, this ease of use will no doubt supplant traditional phone calls with video conferencing. There will be a face on every screen; each person chatting with someone else as they go about the business of their day.
Image Source: Flickr CC User Tsahi Levent-Levi