Ask the Expert: Which technologies are impacting how we collaborate and communicate in the workplace?

This week’s Ask the Expert is answered by Bobby Beckmann, CTO of Lifesize. With more than 20 years of experience, Bobby leads a team of engineers and developers to deliver innovation, scalability and reliability to the Lifesize cloud-based software service, HD camera and phone systems.

Ask the Expert: Which technologies are impacting how we collaborate and communicate in the workplace?

4K Resolution
The conference room is becoming an even more critical part of conducting successful meetings with the help of highly sophisticated 4K cameras that feature the best resolution the industry has seen. This technology has grown significantly in the home environment as seen in TVs and PCs, but as more millennials enter the workforce, the demand for high-quality video resolution (a.k.a. lifelike video) in the office will grow exponentially. Not only does this increase in quality, improving the overall meeting experience, it is also essential in driving other advancements in technology, including…

Machine Vision
With innovation driving installation of smarter, higher-quality cameras in the workplace, these “eyes in the office” are starting to gather important data to help give context to how a meeting is proceeding – much like sentiment analysis used for customer service calls. Typically, there is only one camera in a conference room and it doesn’t give a good indication of how the room truly looks or feels. For larger meetings, multiple cameras will utilize machine vision to help check the mood of the room: Are people engaged? Is there free-flowing conversation? Is someone sleeping? What is on the whiteboard? And then of course, the system will provide useful data to change meetings for the better, largely through…

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning
Cloud-based video conferencing solutions give us access to huge amounts of data about meeting habits. This data, aided by artificial intelligence and machine learning, could soon allow us to optimize the use of the platform and increase the effectiveness of meetings – many of the other trends in technology (for example virtual assistants and facial recognition) are, in effect, powered by AI. At a basic level, AI could soon enable us to determine optimal meeting length, ideal number of participants, or best time of the day to hold a meeting to improve productivity. Voice recognition could analyze the content of meetings, compare against other meetings in the same organization, and make suggestions as to connections between people with complementary skills or knowledge. All of these developments are only starting to be realized through continued improvements in…

While not as sexy as 4K resolution or machine vision, innovation around interoperability is paramount as users continue to demand a consumer-like experience with enterprise collaboration: whatever device, wherever they are, at any time. Applications and devices need to play nicely with one another. Because of this, we will also start to see additional consolidation and partnerships in the industry, as both big and small players try to build out an all-in-one solution that meets the demands of today’s modern worker.