Once just a techie, biz-bro term, to Zoom someone is now part of everybody’s vocabulary. From international state-leaders strategic gatherings to birthday parties, from grandpa visit to virtual sleepovers. For almost every human interaction there has been a video call.
Some may say that video has now caught on and that we are at full maturity of our solutions. Sure, they are available for everyone, they work pretty much every time, and they can run on almost any device, but I would say that we are still missing key features in the technology.
In my opinion, the three biggest things that can disrupt video conferencing are as follows:
Cross platform video conferencing. If we are on Zoom, we cannot do a Google Meet, or a Teams. We keep switching from one platform to the other. It is so bad, that even on seemingly identical technologies, like when establishing a WebRTC call, we cannot join from one to the other. Imagine if you could only call -let’s say- Nokia phones. Or Samsung. It is Bananas!
I should be able to open up my Google Meet console, and join a MS Teams call. We need manufacturers to drop this nonsense of trying to compete on video’s network effect, agree on a standard, and start really adding features to each platform and compete that way. That’s the way it is anyway. The invited party does not have to be a subscriber of the service, they can just join (after fumbling through yet another service) and the host is who selects and pays for the service.
Substitute for the 1-800-like experience for businesses. So first, please don’t get me wrong. I am not talking about endlessly waiting in voice-jail while angrily pressing 0 hoping that it gets you to a human. I am basically just proposing to be able to reach a business through video call.
This one became evident to me while having to tap customer service from a vendor. I called their number and I quickly realized how much easier would it be just to be able to show them what was going on. Video calls can be used in this setting, but probably would require calling in, setting up a call, sending out a link… you get it.
Unfortunately, I don’t think we can do away with some queuing, but why can’t I just click on a link on a website, be greeted by a welcoming video, and then passed on to the “next available representative”? ALL ON VIDEO. It is 2022 already.
The experience should be one replicating an in-person visit somewhere. You come in, you stay in a queue if there is anybody in front of you, perhaps you are greeted by someone or not, and then, when a “specialist” becomes available, you get transferred to them. Easy peasy. Zoom’s Contact Center is promising this experience, but I haven’t been delighted yet.
Session persistence. This is a pompous way of saying that I would like to have the ability to transfer a video call. Among my own devices, and to another person. This is probably one that will require the most technical improvements on this list to achieve reliably (and a pre-requisite for #2), but how hard can’t it be?
In the meanwhile I’ll have to keep pressing that 0 and rebooting my computer every time my camera stops working.