Personal Uses For Videoconferencing

by : Jason Cox

If you thought that video conferencing is the domain of business tycoons and their minions, you will have to think again. Sure, business deals are made, partnerships are formed, mergers are discussed, and using the video conferencing technology firms new product launches up. Yet, more and more private parties are discovering the wonderful world of video conferencing.

As a matter of fact, the technology has already been marketed to private parties for a few decades. Who does not remember the videophone that required two parties to have the same setup and then would display the smiling callers face on a screen smaller than the computer screen you are currently looking at? Or take the surge of web cams that seems to find their ways into our nations co-ed dormitories.

Sure, they are often put to a more questionable use, but the ability to send visuals along with audio has been around for quite a while. With the Internet boom of the 1980s, many companies made their money off the new technologies, and even these days many a spam message will contain an invitation to visit the senders webcam broadcast..for a cost, of course.

Yet even so, video conferencing is quickly moving into the private sector, and the most logical places for such a move are the large immigrant populations. Did you know that there are families who have not seen each other face to face for decades?

Children are born, marriages take place, graduations happen, birthday parties come and go and all that family members across the globe see are some after the fact photos or maybe some grainy Internet webcam images that appear to lag eons behind the sound. What better use for video conferencing than to bridge the global gap and bring families together?

Grandparents may now meet their grandchildren when they are born. They may interact with their sons and daughters more often or even at all! Sadly, there are many countries that will not permit expatriates reentry for visits to relatives, and some countries will not consider a citizenship application of a resident alien who has left the country for travel, thus severely curtailing an individuals ability to remain connected to her or his family and friends.

With the use of video conferencing technology, grandchildren who would have never known their doting grandparents and would not have been able to make the connection between the smiling photos and the presents that keep arriving at all the special occasions will now be able to form a personal bond with their elders across the globe.

In addition to the foregoing, families that are brought together by marriage may now meet each other via the television screen. The parents of the bride, as well as the parents of the groom, may reside across the globe or in different corners of the same country, but with the help of video conferencing equipment they might as well just live next door. Families will now be able to meet and greet each other, and begin to form relationships that will be cemented later on when grandchildren are born and holiday visits may be planned.

As a matter of fact, there are already entrepreneurial immigrants who are pooling their resources to launch video conferencing centers that will permit local immigrants to come to a centrally located storefront and purchase an hour of video conferencing time. These immigrants also seek to set up similar centers in other parts of the world to allow family members to visit a center at the same time, and thus allow a videoconference to take place.

In many places of the world, especially third world countries, the technology to facilitate these virtual meetings is hard to come by and even harder to maintain. Yet for the successful entrepreneur, this kind of business may soon prove to be a goldmine.

Families will gladly save up the fees for and hour or two of video conferencing time in order to reconnect with friends and families from all over the world. Considering that video conferences are not limited to only two parties, it is obvious that as many groups as feasible could eventually participate in one conference, and virtual family reunions may not be a thing of the distant future anymore.