Video Conferencing, the cutting edge of communication

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A video conference is a set of interactive telecommunication technologies which allow two or more locations to interact via two-way video and audio transmissions simultaneously. It has also been called 'visual collaboration' and is a type of groupware. It differs from a videophone call in that it is designed to serve a conference rather than individuals. Videoconferencing uses telecommunications of audio and video to bring people at different sites together for a meeting. This can be as simple as a conversation between two people in private offices (point-to-point) or involve several sites (multi-point) with more than one person in large rooms at different sites.

Video teleconference systems throughout the 1990s rapidly evolved from highly expensive proprietary equipment, software and network requirements to standards based technology that is readily available to the general public at a reasonable cost. Finally, in the 1990s, an IP video conferencing became possible, and more efficient video compression technologies were developed, permitting desktop, or personal computer based PC video conferencing.

Besides the audio and visual transmission of meeting activities, videoconferencing can be used to share documents, computer-displayed information and interactive white boards. In a good quality PC video conferencing, real time application sharing, text chat, file Transfer, desktop sharing, audio recording etc. can take place with ease. It also allows users to interact through multiple presentation modes.

The concept of an IP video conferencing can enable individuals in faraway places to have meetings on short notice. Technology such as VOIP can be used in conjunction with the concept of IP video conferencing to enable low-cost face-to-face business meetings without leaving the desk, especially for businesses with wide-spread offices.

The concepts of IP video conferencing and PC video conferencing are now being introduced to online networking websites, in order to help businesses form profitable relationships quickly and efficiently without leaving their place of work. This has been leveraged by banks to connect busy banking professionals with customer in various locations using video banking technology.

PC based video conference has allowed testimony to be used for individuals who are not able to attend the physical legal settings. IP based video conference is a very useful technology for telemedicine and tele - nursing applications, such as diagnosis, consulting, transmission of medical images, etc., in real time in countries where this is legal.

Both PC video conferencing and IP video conferencing provide students with the opportunity to learn by participating in a 2-way communication platform. Furthermore, teachers and lecturers from all over the world can be brought to classes in remote or otherwise isolated places. Students from diverse communities and backgrounds can come together to learn about one another. Through video conferencing students can visit another part of the world to speak with others, visit a zoo, a museum and so on, to learn. These virtual field trips can bring opportunities to children, especially those in geographically isolated locations, or the economically disadvantaged.

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