Over the past decades, the promise of video as a standard form of communication has been presented to us through many mediums, from Star Trek to The Jetsons and even through my old Avengers comic books over 30 years ago. While corporations utilize video conferencing technology at a rapid rate, it hasn't yet penetrated the daily habits of people across the globe but it will.
The core technology has been there for decades, but not the bandwidth and compression technology along with the hardware to make it an everyday utility. With the growth of Skype's video chat, Google's GTalk, Apple's Facetime and other services, combined with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, video will become the standard form of communications versus SMS, voice only and even email in some situations within a few years. Drilling down further, here are a few trends that I see.
Video Will Replace SMS Communications
The days of text-based communications as a primary tool are reaching an end. SMS is slowly being replaced by mobile video chat services such as Facetime, Qik (acquired by Skype earlier this year) and Tango. Even just looking at Tango's numbers reveals a rapidly changing landscape. Two months after their launch late last year, it hit over 4 million users and now boasts 23 million users. I can tell you that those users are SMSing less often these days.
Video Will Replace Live Chat Communications
I see the same trend for Web-based text communications, whether through personal services, such as AIM, or business applications, such as various live chat services.
New Efficiencies And Disruptions Will Take Place Across Industries
One area is healthcare. The promise of telemedicine has been coming for over a decade, but I believe today's combination of technology, hardware and bandwidth will bring it to fruition. How much more efficient will doctor "visits" become? Unnecessary visits and waste will decrease while increasing the reach of various experts. Where else can video transform an industry? Education? Construction?
What other trends do you see with the coming ubiquity of video communications? I would love to hear other ideas or feedback on my thoughts!
Photo by jacopoL