Tomorrow’s Videoconferencing Life


As an international student in a new country, you’ll probably spend few hours a month talking with your family and friends abroad. You’ll probably use Skype or your Facetime or other app of the same style: these are free, simple and they’re pretty boring for the most part.

They’re two options out there that are aiming at spicing up a little the way video calls are made.

-PanaCast, it’s a USB camera that capture a 180-degree view of the room. This allows you to see your colleague or friend in a panoramic view, making it great for a boardroom scenario.

-Personify. It’s a desktop app that allows you to look at you friends, family or business colleagues by excluding everything in the background and just focusing on their heads: so if you’re sitting in a room full of stuff around you won’t have those in the background. But it essentially narrows down what people are focusing on when they’re looking at you and it gives your face much more light, more detail and a much better visual in general. It also freezes up the space on your desktop so that you can keep working on whatever you were doing before.

According to Katie Boehret, editor at re/code, both these products do come with a few drawbacks: starting with PanaCast $1,000 price tag (still significantly less that other alternative: Skype for Business’ set up costs around $4,000-$5,000); Personify is not cheap either, in order to use it you’ll need a 3D camera (the cheapest one is now $169) and a Windows PC. It has still some work to do on its audio feature as well.

Although they have a few limitations these two products are an encouraging look ahead of where the technology for videoconference is going.

References:

-This App Will Make Your Next Virtual Meeting Awesome, http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/241431

-PanaCast Is A Unique Panoramic Video Conferencing Experience, http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/17/panacast-is-a-unique-panoramic-video-conferencing-experience/

-Webcams Grow Up: Personify and PanaCast Enhance Video Chats, http://recode.net/2015/06/11/webcams-grow-up-personify-and-panacast-enhance-video-chats/

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