Videoconferencing Is A Nice-To-Have, Not A Need-To-Have
from the and-so-it-goes dept
Over at Network World, a reporter is noting that videoconferencing has supposedly been “the next big thing” since 1988 or so, and wonders why it still hasn’t really caught on among a mainstream audience. Certainly there are some corporate users, and some people use it to talk to their family via webcams — but it’s still relatively rare. In response, I’d first point out that the promise of videoconferencing as the “next big thing” goes back well before 1988. There was a ton of hype around AT&T’s plans to offer videophones back in the 1960s — and it went nowhere. The reasoning is the same as it’s always been. In most cases there’s simply no need or no desire to have a video connection. You can accomplish just as much with voice communications, and the video is often seen as more of a negative than a positive. For a video call you need to make sure you look presentable, which isn’t great for unplanned calls. It also doesn’t let you do anything else while you’re on the phone. In other words, it offers very little benefit and has some serious downsides that make it less than useful for many users. So, no, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that after 45 years or so, there still isn’t all that much interest in video conferencing.
Filed Under: videoconferencing