Life can be difficult and hectic at times. Luckily, innovations in technology are making it easier every day. Video calling is something that has existed for years but is still spread out across many players and can be a pain to organize around. Help is coming in the not so distant future, though, because there are hundreds of things you do every single day, many of which are simple enough to be handled by technology. To go a step further, let’s look at a few things video calling might be able to help you accomplish each day to make life a little easier.
1. Driving the car
Traffic is the worst, almost everyone can agree on that. Fortunately help is coming in the form of self-driving cars. Google is the big name backing he project to take the United States’ most-used form of transportation into the future. What if you could also control the car from afar? Sure the self-driving part is mostly meant to get you around while you focus on any number of other things, but what if you just needed to pick up the dry cleaning or take-out for dinner? You could stay home and get some chores down or watch the big game but still make sure your errands are completed to your standard via a video call.
2. Shopping and other errands
Speaking of running errands, why should it just stop with someone dropping your clothes or food in your car? What about those times when you need to actually go inside? Telepresence robots are already here for industries such as healthcare. Why not put them to use in other areas of your life, such as running to Office Depot to pick up more paper for the office, toner for the printer and pens for everyone? Not only will it save valuable time for employees but you can double check to make sure the correct products are being picked up by the office robot.
3. Checking in with loved ones
It’s your daughters first day of preschool and you’re already a wreck worrying about everything from will she make friends to will she spill grape juice on her new outfit. Why worry so much when checking in out her will be a click away through the pre-school’s website. You can say hi, ask the teacher how things are going and even finally come to the realization that she’s growing up and will be just fine on her own. She even made a new friend during art time and now your only worry is what you’re going to do for their play date. On the flip side, video calls help family members stay connected with distant loved ones who are living in other states or who are living in senior living assisted centers. Pomeradonews.com wrote a great article about how senior citizens stay connected.
Video calling won’t just be for your children, though. Catching up with friends who moved far away and making sure your parents are doing fine now that they’ve finally retired is only a click away. There are ways to do this now, but once video becomes universal, those pesky barriers like downloads and plugins will be a thing of the past.
4. Meetings with coworkers
Sure, this one has been around for more nearly two decades, but bear with me here. Your options are trying to hobble together pieces of different programs depending on what feature you need to utilize. Do you need to share your screen? Will file sharing be needed? Do you need an option to type messages as well as the audio and video feeds? All of these features will be available on one simple program. Now video calling is a click away within your email contacts. You can co-browse, screen share, exchange files, draw on others’ screens to point out vital information, and more all while in a video call. This can be done without even leaving your email client. And for those that like to plan ahead, you’re just one click away from setting up a calendar invite with the information needed to join a video call. Learn more about how video calling helps increase enterprise collaboration.
5. Fixing the printer
While it feels good to be a gangsta, going gangster on a printer in front of your coworkers isn’t exactly professional. If there’s a paper jam or any other problem with the printer it can put a damper on productivity. Since no one actually enjoys getting on a phone call with customer service you try to find someone who can fix it and let’s be honest, IT has more important ways to spend its day than trying to tackle the labyrinth of a printer problem. Soon, however, you’ll be able to get in touch with the printer company and not have to deal with the endless frustrations of support calls. Using the camera on your mobile device you can show a support agent exactly what the problem is and the agent can walk you through the solution step by step, all with a friendly smile you can see. See our customer support trouble shooting use case here.
6. Putting service back in customer service
There has been a lot of talk about the future of customer service lately. For years outsourcing was considered the best way to cut costs and improve the bottom line. With the rise of real-time communication there has been a dramatic shift in thinking as customers demand smarter and faster service from companies. Video calling is the clear next step to getting back in touch with customers and putting service back in customer service. We’ve even raised the question here as to whether Amazon Mayday started the next customer service revolution (Spoiler Alert: We think it has). When you’re trying to get a replacement product for your office of (gasp!) doing a little online shopping at the end of the day Friday, you will be one-click away from a face-to-face conversation with a customer support agent. That agent will have all of your information, purchase data and history with the company in front of him or her as they start the conversation, to cut down on the time it takes to close the ticket. Imagine that, both parties leaving a conversation without stress and frustration. It’s a novel idea, isn’t it?
7. Enjoying live television with friends
You made it through another week of work and you just want to kick back and enjoy your favorite shows. There are already many ways to enjoy television with friends without being in the same room. Apps like GroupMe and TvTag, formerly GetGlue, started to bring groups of a common theme together. Social media, and especially Twitter, are instrumental in bringing people together for live events. Even Yahoo! Sports has a feature called Loops, which allows users to quickly create looping videos during sporting events.
Soon you will be able to get a group video chat going during the VMA awards or the World Series so you can feel part of the larger community without leaving the comfort of your own home. Your friends will be picture in picture or streaming on your computer or mobile while you watch so you can gush over the most beautiful dresses or the spectacular catch to win the game.
What tasks in your day would you like to phase out with the help of video?