Over the past few years, I’ve wasted more time trying to get conference calls, screen shares, and video calls setup than I did being productive in these systems. It all seems like a middle-school science experiment in probability. Will it work? Will it not work? Will video work but not audio? Will screen share crash midway through a presentation?
Rather than turn this into a long rant, others have done this more eloquently than I, here’s what I would like in a system:
- Zero-software client. WebRTC exists in every modern browser. Let’s use it. Installing extensions which operate within the sandbox of the browser for screen share could be ok. Let me enable/disable the extension on demand.
- Lots of software can simply find a way to connect to the open Internet. If teenagers in middle and high-school can do it with ease, so should professional conference software.
- No PIN, meeting IDs, room numbers, or other identifier. Just connect and bam, you’re in the conference. Let me click on a url and I’m in. https://www.uberconference.com/ does this for audio and screen shares.
I look forward to using the first system which can meet these 3 needs with ease.
The picture is of a conference at EMCDDA in Portugal. We all went there because it’s still easier to physically meet in one place at one time than it is to get the technology working correctly.