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Zoom Examines the Future of Communication Devices
January 23, 2014 by Zoom

Today, many people have at least one smartphone, a tablet, and a desktop computer. Is that enough to satisfy our need to communicate? What if we had screens everywhere? Currently, innovations in consumer and business technology are plopping screens everywhere we go, and it seems as if though the amount of screens surrounding us grows will grow exponentially in the near future.

If you attended this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2014), you perhaps have made the realization that the pace at which our gadgets are evolving is surpassing the pace at which the average consumer can attain them. Still, it’s safe to say that at least a few of the crazy ideas that the folks at CES presented will stick around and become mainstream. Some of the screened devices presented will actually be able to foster some level of video communications that is more or less convenient when nothing else is handy.

Zoom strives to appear on as many platforms as possible. We’ve managed to put our vidtastic cloud video meeting software on smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and room systems. But what does the future hold?

The Future, So Far

When people think about “the future,” they think in terms of what concepts have already been presented either by futurologists (yes, those people exist) or research and development departments of various firms. But what really is the future? It’s impossible to say for sure; however, it’s rather easy to show what the near future will probably look like, and boy are we excited about it!

Zoom - mirror screenAmong many different concept devices presented in various consumer electronics demonstrations, the ones that catch the most interest relevant to video meetings are mirror and transparent (aka “Smart Window”) displays. Among many applications, these special displays can provide an impressive video experience. What’s even more interesting is the prospect of an already-familiar operating system running behind these displays. If Android, iOS, Mac, or Windows works in the background of any of these displays, Zoom can run on them in a heartbeat.

Imagine having Zoom follow you around your office! This is possible if you have multiple “smart window” displays with a particular protocol that detects where you are standing and points a camera at you. You no longer would have to stay in one place to communicate through video, a hindrance that has kept some people sticking to face-to-face experiences.

The mirror display is just as enticing. For example, you can actually meet on the very mirror you were dressing your hair or straightening your tie in front of!

Oh, And Smart Watches

Zoom - smartwatchMuch like smartphones back in 2007, the smart watch is in its infancy. Manufacturers are just starting to figure out how to make their watches work out in the sunlight, let alone including the hardware that’s necessary to have a full-blown video conference. So far, the Neptune Pine seems to be the only smart watch capable of doing this, and the fact it doesn’t run Zoom by default should make everyone very, very sad. A screen without Zoom is like cappuccino without the foam. You might as well feed it to your dog.

All joking aside, the smart watch revolution is coming, and it’s inevitable that their users will start begging for features like the ability to talk with each other via video. How convenient is that? You just lift up your wrist, press a few buttons, and before you know it, you’re on Zoom with your mother, and she’s asking you why you haven’t called.

We’re also excited about the ability to move an active conversation from one device to another. Let’s say you join a meeting through your watch, but you want to switch to something where you can actually see the participants bigger than an inch high. You can just join in using your tablet and hang up your watch.

What About Cars?

Cars are kind of on the “meh” side of human interaction. While you’re focusing on the road, it’s pretty difficult to put things in front of you without risking an accident. The whole “Facebook in your car” idea hasn’t quite taken off – and that’s probably a good thing.

Distracted driving issues aside, CES 2014 was populated with cars that sported fancy touch screen interfaces and digital dashboards. This kind of innovation is a prelude to operating systems with SDKs and APIs that allow apps like ours to find their way to your vehicle. The touchscreens will be in the center column, well away from your field of vision, and within access of your eyes when you’re stopped. These factors create perfect conditions for a smooth video meeting with co-workers, associates, and family through software like Zoom through your vehicle. (FYI, you can already use Zoom in “safe-driving mode” – a switch on your app settings – that let’s you listen to a meeting but not speak or see anything.)

Zoom Steps into the Future

Virtually anywhere you can put a screen, you can also slap some video magic on it. As the waves of new inventions and concept devices hit us, we’ll try to join you every step of the way. And, as always, it’s never too late to join the Zoom revolution – sign up for a free account today!