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improving conference call tech

Friday was a lost day for me; I went from conference call to conference call all day long. I get fried by about the 6th call. I powered through because the last couple of calls were important to me (learning opportunity). It did get me thinking; however, about the concept of virtual meetings.  I started my IT career before the concept of web meetings caught on. I won’t, as I have previously talked about the various companies and solutions in the conferencing software space. Nor, as I have covered those many times, need to talk about the software. Today instead, I wanted to talk a little about the hardware. If you have an android tablet or an iPad, you have a conferencing system.

If you have a laptop, (most) you have a conferencing system. I carry a Logitech camera in my bag. My laptop from work has a camera, but it isn’t the best. The Logitech also has two microphones which do a better job of cutting noise. I do take calls that include video when I am disconnected from a network (wifi or ethernet), so the ability to send and share video over cellular for me is critical. I also have two Logitech devices at home. One is a speaker/camera system for my laptop when I am working at home. The reason I bring this up is the reality of a call I had yesterday. There was someone speaking that I needed to hear.

I put on my noise canceling headset and honestly no matter how high I made the volume, I couldn’t hear the person.

I have been working on an application for the last couple of years trying to figure out if you could notify someone that their voice isn’t reaching everyone on the call. The problem with that kind of application is the real-time requirement. IT, the application needs to have a component installed on every computer in a meeting. Webex, GoToMeeting, and Zoom all have the local software installed (there is ambient noise on your line), This would be a system that allowed your system to report to the meeting what your local volume is, but also receive from all the remote microphones what your distant volume is. That way if your connection is ok, and it is a remote connection, the system can notify the remote user that it is their problem. If it is your problem, the system can notify you!

As I said, I’ve been working on this and one other application for more than two years. I probably will still be working on it in two more years.

  • have you ever been on a conference call where you just couldn’t hear the person?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you attend conference calls often?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you find yourself multi-tasking?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you have an Android Tablet or an iPad?

    • Yes
    • No

What do you think?

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Written by DocAndersen

I am a long time blogger and technology poster.I focus on what is possible, but I also try to see what is coming. In recent years I have been focused on sharing the memories of my family, as part of my Family History Project.

34 Comments

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  1. It is a great idea DocAndersen. In this advanced world, we sometimes have to ask the other person if we are audible enough on a call. It would be great if we can know this ourselves without having to ask.

  2. I haven’t tried a conference but I video call my daughter most of the time. I wanted to suggest this type of conducting a meeting in our office but I have yet to test if it would be possible considering that the internet speed in our place is not yet great.

  3. This is not something I have done. However there was a time I was on Skype and got a call from Eleanor, Warwicks sister in Australia and some family members on the sykpe. We did not get visual. I could hear everyone.

    I got rid of Skype because I got some unwanted calls from total strangers,,,

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