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Huntington Beach, CA, United States, 2011/03/14 - BrightCom CEO, Bob McCandless explains how live broadcasting of early radio and television is similar to the challenges of people's discomfort with live video conferencing and telepresence as everyday communication tools.
Many telepresence and video conferencing industry vendors as well as bloggers and the press have written about the necessity of having video conferencing etiquette. Usually they present a list of ten to fifteen dos and don'ts advising on how to properly present themselves while speaking on camera. But why do we need rules for camera etiquette when we are so used to speaking with people face to face every day?
In a newly released interview, BrightCom CEO Bob McCandless expressed his belief that similar to the early days of live radio and television broadcasting, telepresence and video conferencing allows very little room for error, making people feel pressured to look, act and sound perfect on camera.
“Early radio and television was live because the technology to record it, store it and play it back was not yet invented,” stated Mr. McCandless. “On live radio shows, you did not have the option to edit or re-record. Live broadcasting is now almost gone mainly because there was a fear inherent in not being able to fix mistakes much like video conferencing today. People don't want to be on camera because it takes a very confident person to do that. I think that is one of the challenges for video conferencing and that is why there is so much talk about video conferencing etiquette.”
Recently, Forrester Research reported that because of feelings of unease on camera and the perceived lack of privacy from video conferencing, workers in the US and Europe were hesitant to adopt desktop video conferencing solutions. However Mr. McCandless argues that similar hesitation occurred for the early models of mobile phones.
Mr. McCandless states, “The cell phone was one of the most rapidly accepted technologies in the history of all technology. However, in the early days, if you went up to the average person and asked them if they wanted one, they would have declined. People felt uncomfortable being available to anyone at any time and carrying a large piece of equipment was a hassle. It was a little impractical for the time, but that did not seem to slow down the acceptance of mobile phone technology very much.”
While Mr. McCandless feels that the rate of the adoption of desktop or mobile conferencing will continue to increase, he feels that for now video communications are best placed in the conference room or the home.
“At home or at work you want to talk to people you are familiar with. Communicating through video is easier when you know and trust the person on the other side. Workers have no issue walking in to a boss' office and talking, so what is the difference with doing it on video? It is more of an issue of intrusion when people you do not know or do not expect are suddenly present via video in your office.”
One way in which Mr. McCandless feels the industry can help reduce this issue with video conferencing is to do what radio and television broadcasting progressed to, near live broadcasting or broadcast delay. This would allow people a small safety net when communicating via telepresence or video conferencing.
Mr. McCandless continues, “Even E: has this problem, as it is somewhat of a live technology. If you realize you have just sent an E: with errors in it, you now have the ability to recall it. I think that for a lot of things today that we communicate with video, this recorded near-live ideology is somewhat better.”
Mr. McCandless is featured in a continuing video series entitled, Telepresence and Video Conferencing: Past, Present and Future. Stay tuned for more discussion regarding the history of video and telepresence and the early beginnings of telepresence.
BrightCom video and telepresence conferencing solutions aid businesses in gaining more value with real-time collaboration and natural communication. With unique integrated data and video conferencing solutions, BrightCom (brightcom.com) offers a wide range of options with Lumina Telepresence and ClearView Video Conferencing to connect people and content from home offices, mobile devices, desktops or conference rooms. To learn more about BrightCom’s unique telepresence and video conferencing with in-depth collaboration features but without a costly investment on bandwidth upgrades, call or visit the website.