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Friday, 28 September 2012

Video Conferencing Technical and other issues

Computer security experts have shown that poorly configured or inadequately supervised videoconferencing system can permit an easy 'virtual' entry by computer hackers and criminals into company premises and corporate boardrooms, via their own videoconferencing systems.[16]
Some observers argue that three outstanding issues have prevented videoconferencing from becoming a standard form of communication, despite the ubiquity of videoconferencing-capable systems.[17] These issues are:
  1. Eye contact: Eye contact plays a large role in conversational turn-taking, perceived attention and intent, and other aspects of group communication.[18] While traditional telephone conversations give no eye contact cues, many videoconferencing systems are arguably worse in that they provide an incorrect impression that the remote interlocutor is avoiding eye contact. Some telepresence systems have cameras located in the screens that reduce the amount of parallax observed by the users. This issue is also being addressed through research that generates a synthetic image with eye contact using stereo reconstruction.[19]
    Telcordia Technologies, formerly Bell Communications Research, owns a patent for eye-to-eye videoconferencing using rear projection screens with the video camera behind it, evolved from a 1960s U.S. military system that provided videoconferencing services between the White House and various other government and military facilities. This technique eliminates the need for special cameras or image processing.[20]
  2. Appearance consciousness: A second psychological problem with videoconferencing is being on camera, with the video stream possibly even being recorded. The burden of presenting an acceptable on-screen appearance is not present in audio-only communication. Early studies by Alphonse Chapanis found that the addition of video actually impaired communication, possibly because of the consciousness of being on camera.[21]
  3. Signal latency: The information transport of digital signals in many steps need time. In a telecommunicated conversation, an increased latency (time lag) larger than about 150–300 ms becomes noticeable and is soon observed as unnatural and distracting. Therefore, next to a stable large bandwidth, a small total round-trip time is another major technical requirement for the communication channel for interactive videoconferencing.[22]
The issue of eye-contact may be solved with advancing technology, and presumably the issue of appearance consciousness will fade as people become accustomed to videoconferencing.

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