Don't Watch Yourself For Better Video Chat

VideoConferencing.jpg I'm currently at the Cisco Networkers conference in Brisbane, where one of the main features is a demonstration of the company's TelePresence systems (big-screen video conferencing systems for holding chats between office locations). You're unlikely to install one of those in your living room, but the Cisco crew, who are into video chat in a serious way, did pass on one useful tip that's equally applicable to webcam systems. Once you're sure that the camera is positioned correctly, get rid of the window showing yourself. If you keep your own image on screen, you'll tend to watch that, whereas if all you can see is the other end, you'll focus more on communicating and maintain better eye contact.


    Because there's so much convergence and shake out happening in the video conference / collaboration sector at the moment, what we really need is a set of industry best practice guidelines from the key players such as Cisco, Tandberg and Polycom which sets out the way that organisations *should* deploy VC. This would really help to push the sector forward.

    Sorry, but this is a bad idea. I prefer having the video image of myself up on the screen because it allows me to make sure my body language and facial expressions are in check. I just drag my camera feed to the top of the screen, under the webcam, and gase longingly into my own eyes. Makes for great conversations.... Wow, who's that sexy dude in the river there!?

    The problem is not 'how to act properly on tv' - but 'why are we still thinking it's a tv?' I'm waiting for a system that allows you to interact with other end in such a fashion that the screen becomes invisible. You don't look at yourself in a mirror whenever you're taking to someone on the street, so why do we do it in a videoconferencing call? It's because we're taking to a TV. Get rid of it somehow, futurist inventors! See my link for an idea.

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