2009 may really be the year for video conferencing. I know, we've heard this all before, but due to a few factors that are all converging, video conferencing may be in for a very big year next year.
Here's why I feel that way.
1) The gas crisis isn't going away.
2) The economy is making it harder on business people to travel. Just read the recent Business Travel survey news and see the level of respondents planning in implementing video conferencing.
3) Bandwidth is better and bigger in homes and offices.
4) Mobile Broadband with HSUPA (3.5G) is great for those working remotely or on the go.
5) Hollywood is getting in tune with it (again)
6) Carriers are getting into the act too, with Global Crossing making a move today, to offer an enterprise grade HiDef Video Conferencing portfolio.
7) Social Networking mavens are beginning to see the way it plays into a SM strategy for working near and far.
8) Mobile WiMax from XOHM and WiMax in general is great for video streaming as well as Video Conferencing. Again, the fat pipe and solid upstream makes the choppy video of days gone by a thing of the past.
9) More telecommuting and telework-between the Carbon Footprint issues of commuting to work, the hardship on the environment and more, people can simply work from home more easily. Since this number is increasing, and they still have a need for seeing one another, video conferencing fills that need.
10) Web cams are better now than ever before. Higher megapixel resolutions, more true to life colors and accuracy means a better experience.
This is all before you add in the pushes being made by Cisco with TelePresence, Tandberg, HP, LifeSize and Polycom with the enterprise, as well as client SightSpeed whose 9 party video calling business plan makes high quality video calling cost as little as a phone line ($19.95 a month or so) and at the quality level that rivals the big names. There's also Skype and Gizmo, both consumer friendly IM tools that offer voice and video as a way of seeing each other one on one.
So, when you add all this up, it's easy to see why Video Conferencing will be big next year.