October 26, 2014

Modern cell phone video conferencing features

Cell Phone Video Conferencing -  shutterstock

As smartphones grow in popularity, the number and variety of features they offer grow as well. Here is a guide to mobile video conferencing features.

Video-telephony has been around in concept for almost a century. With the advent of the telephone, the general public has been fascinated by the idea of having face to face communication across vast distances. Thanks to increasingly efficient video codecs, video conferencing has progressed beyond the prohibitively costly systems of the 90s and is now accessible to almost everyone via their mobile phone.

The enthusiastic and widespread adoption of smartphones and tablet computers has enabled large numbers of the public to accelerate their communication capabilities while they’re on the go. The first few generations of smart phone cellular networks were not strong enough to transmit the amount of data required to support high definition video conferencing. Thankfully, with 3G and 4G LTE network capacity, video conferencing is readily available without even requiring the mobile device to be connected to a local wireless network. With cloud-based services like Blue Jeans, mobile video conferencing is a valuable asset to both personal and business operations.

Historical Development
As early as the 1920’s in the Bell Labs, engineers were working to develop a viable system of video conferencing technology. Although their efforts were unable to produce anything with widespread application until significantly later in the century, the seed had been sewn. Around the middle of the century as television became more and more popular in households across the country, people began to experience visual transmission as a regular occurrence. This development indicated that the ability to transmit video data back and forth between two parties in real time couldn’t be far off.

In the 80s and 90s, corporations and governments were able to use video conferencing at a significant cost of equipment, support systems, as well as management and upkeep expenses. As internet speeds and video compression technology became more refined, smaller companies and the public began to have access to desktop video conferencing through webcams. After the first webcam came on the market in 1994, video conferencing became accessible at a low cost for the first time. The initial “QuickCam” had a resolution of 320 by 240 pixels and came at a price of $100. Fast forward eight years and customers could buy a fully functional three dimensional webcam with a resolution of 1280 by 480 for the same price. The cameras began to be a standard feature built into new laptops at the manufacturing facilities.

The software infrastructure for video became lighter and lighter until it was eventually able to be shifted entirely to a cloud-based operation and thus finally accessible on mobile devices like cell phones and tablets. Products like Blue Jeans mobile video conferencing have popularized its use as conferencing on the go becomes more convenient and efficient. With the potential to accelerate productivity while cutting down on travel costs and carbon emissions, video conferencing gained in popularity as the preferred method of communication for many companies.

Accessibility and Features

Interoperability
One of the primary advances in accessibility that has begun to universalize video conferencing is the ability to conference between varying platforms. Until somewhat recently, most video conferencing software only enabled users to communicate with others using the same platform. However for newer services like Blue Jeans, mobile video conferencing can be paired with non-mobile devices like conference room-oriented tools. This interoperability takes mobile conferencing a huge step forward in terms of practical use and accessibility.

File Sharing
From a corporate perspective, video conferencing is only as valuable as the actual workplace productivity it can accelerate. For anything from sales pitches, to research and development collaboration, to customer service calls, sharing files during the video conference helps to streamline any conversation or presentation by allowing both parties to see and review any relevant documents or slides in real time. The streaming quality available now has gotten advanced enough to enough share video files simultaneously with the conference.

Meeting Recording
If one of your colleagues is unavailable for a particular conferencing session, tools such as the recording feature are a helpful way to save any part of the presentation or conversation for sharing at a later point. If it’s a particularly complicated meeting with a lot of details, being able to devote your full attention to the conference at hand instead of focusing on jotting down all of the details in your notes allows you to better grasp the concepts. Revisit the information at a later point and freely pause when you need to take a moment to take note.

Visual Control
In terms of interface, mobile video conferencing tools now offer users intuitive ways to best adjust the visual layout of the conference. Users can zoom in on files being shared with them so they can read along. They can also arrange the video feeds for different participants in the way they see fit.

Meeting Security
While mobile phones have not always been known are the devices with the best security standards for transmitting data, modern mobile video conferencing is now wholly encrypted
and protected with a firewall to ensure that none of the information from your meeting is leaking beyond the intended recipients.