The Emergence of Video Call Platforms
Although it wasn’t until the pandemic that video call platforms become an everyday part of life, they have been emerging for a very long time. Back before the days of the Jetsons cartoon, a group of pioneers had a vision of what it would be like to have face-to-face conversations over a network from distant locations. Now, all of these years later, video calls are an occurrence that happens every day all over the world.
Early Video Conferencing
As far back as 1927, the AT&T Bell Telephone company experimented with audio-video technology. They were able to create an audio-video environment where the audio was transmitted in both directions, but the video was only in one direction. A very short, but live video was able to make it across the wire and be seen. This was the first actual recorded instance of video conferencing to happen in the United States. Since that time, audio-video technology has come a long way.
What is a Video Call?
Essentially a video call is when two devices that are equipped with video recording capabilities communicate with each other. Users on both ends send and receive video data to each other that gets translated and decoded into usable information in the form of digital audio and video transmissions.
Digital data is tiny bits of information that can be sent through digital media and received on either end. Digital files can be compacted and pushed down into compressed packets of data in order to be easily moved from one end of the spectrum to the other without overloading the system. When the files are moved from the sender to the receiver the receiving end unpacks the data and transforms it into clear, live video. Although there can be a slight delay in the delivery of the data to where the video seems to drag and not be in sync with the user on the other end, it is only a fraction of a second in most cases.
Before the age of digital platforms, all calls had to be conducted over telephone wires that have been strategically placed throughout the entire planet. It was extremely difficult for video and audio to travel over this kind of media because it could not be compressed in the way that digitized media can. This was known as analog telecommunications because the data was one long streaming piece of information that would not be broken up into parts.
If you look at the way the old-style vinyl records were used years ago you can see how the analog data process works. The whole album was able to play the recorded media by the needle of the record player connecting with the one groove of the album where all of the information was stored. Digital data, on the other hand, can be broken down into tiny bits of information and stored on digital media that is as small as the point of a needle.
Voice over Internet Protocol was the technology that made it possible for phone calls to be placed over the internet. Bits of information can be transmitted through the internet much like the way that people can access websites. With this technique, it is possible to combine video, audio, and other bits of information packaged together into streaming data that can go from one caller to the next. Although it took some time before developers could establish a useable form of video conferencing, the possibility of transmitting live video in real-time became clear when VoIP came into existence.
Cloud-Based Video Conferencing
Perhaps the best and fastest way to facilitate video conferencing is by using a cloud-based platform that can accommodate literally millions of people and callers. The cloud-based video conferencing software platform will consist of an application that is housed in a “cloud” of networked servers and works by sharing the load of the data that is sent in and out of it.
A software application is stored in a remote cloud environment where users can log in and have access to the platform. Many service providers offer Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions that allow people with accounts to administer their own conferences for free, or with a paid subscription.
The Power of Video Conferencing
Long before the pandemic, various learning facilities have been able to utilize video conferencing platforms to conduct classes, facilitate meetings, and digitally orchestrate events. In addition to educational purposes, doctors, counselors, health coaches, and many other necessary professionals have been able to meet with the people that need them without having to travel away from their offices or homes.
When the pandemic hit and millions of businesses were forced to move their companies from the confines of their office buildings into the homes of the workers, technologies such as video conferencing and other platforms allowed for the workforce to continue on as best as they could under the circumstances. Video conferencing and cloud-based technologies have been apple to connect people from all over the world and transform the way everybody does business into a sensible, working structure that does not know the boundaries of physical business practices.