Those seeking the perfect work/life balance could learn a lot from the decades-long technology trend of convergence.
It was a convergence of technologies that made the iPhone such a revelation when it was launched in 2007. What Apple did was make a phone that played music, accessed the internet, sent emails, displayed video, took photos, and made you feel connected to every satellite in outer space.
In short, it did everything from a single source that once required several sources. It created simplicity and harmony by cramming together any function and feature that could be broadcast digitally.
And that could be the answer to the question of achieving work/life balance.
Merge the two together seamlessly into a single convergent stream.
Hello Home Video Conferencing
At least that’s part of the philosophy behind a new video conferencing innovation set to be launched by Solaborate at the end of the year (are these tech names getting better or worse? This one stems from Social + Collaboration, so it’s probably better than Collabocial?).
Solaborate has designed the HELLO, which is essentially a convergent video conferencing unit that operates through your TV. It promises to act as security system, instant video calling service, wireless screen sharing device, real-time broadcasting camera, and a way to remotely collaborate with colleagues the world over.
And, it brings the possibility of the smoothest yet connection between home and office.
HELLO has become a hit on Kickstarter, where it has received more than 600% of its initial cash call. Solaborate plans to use that extra funding to make the video conferencing side of things compatible with Skype, WebEx, Facebook, and Google Hangouts when the unit goes to market in December.
And there’s some impressive tech built into what is also a pretty stylish looking device.
It will ship with a 4K video sensor, array microphones with voice focusing–a neat way of singling out a desired voice within a crowd–simple HDMI cable setup and wi-fi internet connection, and TV mounts with a built-in accelerometer in case of a sudden shift in gravity.
Of course, no one knows how well this thing will actually function until the greater geek guild gets its hands on a few units and starts trying to bend space-time with them, but there’s some real promise here.
So back to that work/life, home/office, connection/balance.
The HELLO is specifically designed to operate through your living room TV, instantly domesticating video conferencing.
The potential here is the Internet of Things idea that all the objects within our personal and professional lives can be made smart, able to connect us and enhance our everyday world.
Mind you, there are other cameras designed with TV in mind, so this isn’t an exclusive service, and Microsoft’s recent decision to kill Skype’s TV app because people prefer to video chat through computer screens and laptops demonstrates consumers may need a little convincing before they make their passive, escapist sets a two-way communication hub.
However, the HELLO device offers a far higher standard of visuals and audio than your common laptop or PC camera, so you’re bringing professional, business-class video conferencing into your home. Now you can join that all-important meeting from home, while also sharing files, taking digital notes, and being streamed live in 4K–and yes, there’s a big difference between HD and 4K, you’ll certainly want to shave before appearing via the latter.
Video Conference at Work and Play
Now that you have professional quality video conferencing tech at home, there’s no need to rush into the office for that 9 am meeting, or linger at the office long into the night for the international video call someone foolishly agreed to stage in a foreign time zone.
And, conversely, if you are keeping regular office hours why not take 20 minutes out of your late afternoon to check in with the kids as they arrive home from school? In fact, in this particular case the HELLO can be remotely operated so you can check in with the kids whether they’re in a mood to answer or not.
That remote capability also means you can check in on your pets and valuables while you are on vacation, or if you’re just nervous about the dog’s first day at home alone.
The HELLO’s cameras are motion sensitive so it can operate as a multi-purpose security system as well.
Convergence. Multitasking. Shifting seamlessly between physical and mental spaces previously kept separate. We’re moving from a consideration of work and life as unique objects balanced on a scale toward thinking of them as one and the same.