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COVID 19 – we are operating as normal, our lead times are accurate at the time of publishing but, some items may take longer due to unprecedented demand. Your patience is appreciated.

ARTICLE - THE RISE OF VIDEO CONFERENCING

With governments across the world placing their citizens on lockdown and companies embracing a  work- from- home culture it comes as no surprise that sales and popularity of video conferencing apps and equipment have soared to record heights. During the early stages of lockdown video conferencing apps reached a staggering 62 million downloads in one week – the highest number ever seen. According to a report by App Annie that figure was up 90% from the pre-Covid-19 weekly download average.

Zoom, the video conferencing software, which allows users to talk to up to 99 other people simultaneously has emerged as of the most popular downloads. Zoom was downloaded 2.13million times on March the 23rd, the day lockdown was announced in the UK.

The dramatic rise (Zoom Boom) and uptake in video conferencing software is set to continue and was on the rise even before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies are embracing this technology as they recognize the benefits of enabling a mobile workforce both locally, nationally, and globally.

Infographic showing the rise in video chat app downloads 2020:Artboard 2-100

As companies and employees strive for better video conferencing facilities, they are likely to demand smarter more sophisticated visuals presented on high quality LED screens. Another technology which will play a significant role in the future of video conferencing is Artificial Intelligence (AI), which will virtually join the meeting as a facilitator. Developers have been working on learning algorithms which will manage and engineer the audio of the speakers ensuring background noise such as chatter or car horns are minimised.

Bad sound quality can be an irritant to any meeting so it is important that we explore ways to reduce this also whilst in the office. It is for this reason that many video conferencing booths are upholstered in acoustically rated fabrics.  Acoustically rated fabrics such as Camira Blazer Lite helps to reduce the irritating buzz of office phones, printers and conversations taking place outside of the acoustic pod.

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The way we meet and collaborate at work has already changed. Long tedious meetings have been replaced with smaller, focused groups, meeting for shorter periods of time, sometimes in a less formal space. Huddle rooms, acoustic podsacoustic booths, train carriages  meeting pods, cells and dens have found their way into the modern workplace, replacing the more traditional boardroom and meeting room.

Communication is going to be key when we return to our less populated workplaces and it is for this reason that video conferencing pods and booths will be a priority for those companies wanting to adapt. Returning sales representatives and agents could face tighter travel restrictions and more time consuming stringent social distancing measures at their destinations. Video conferencing booths and pods can alleviate these concerns by providing a safe zone to stay in touch with clients, colleagues, family, and friends.

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Many video conferencing booths and pods are designed for teams to meet and collaborate and have optional tv brackets and power options. These kinds of meetings however may now be restricted in compliance with social distancing measures in the workplace. It is for this reason we may see booths and pods being used for individual use or for limited meetings between two participants. Acoustic pods and acoustic booths often feature high sides and are softly shaped primarily offering acoustic protection and reduces the risk of harmful transmission caused by coughs and sneezes. We have shown below the example of the Aegis meeting pod from pre Covid-19 and post Covd-19 usage with reduced users to individual use for either a work pod or for video conferencing. The Aegis meeting pods , as shown below, are proven to give 30db noise reduction and the panels are a 55mm thickness making it a sturdy, solid dependable choice for meetings or video conferencing. 

The Unite teardrop multimedia conference table is a perfect solution for those wanting to implement video conferencing to their workplace. They can be used by individuals and small groups who wish to stay in touch with their colleagues and co-workers during these times of staggered working and adhering to government workplace guidelines. The Unite multimedia conference tables are extremely versatile, fully AV and IT integrated and meet the high standards expected from today’s working practices. The Unite range also has height adjustable options which may be adjusted for users with special height or wheelchair requirements.

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Companies are now striving for a unified communication strategy, reliant on seamless integration, efficient technology and software, improving and enhancing their video conferencing strategy.

The long term goal for future meetings and their participants is to be able to hold meetings  ‘anywhere’, bridging the geographical gaps and barriers between them.

To achieve this goal we need to future proof our workplaces which in turn will allow us to embrace the new technology and furniture solutions that makes getting back to some kind of normality possible.

 

 

Posted by: Josh Seddon

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