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Blue Jeans Network Adds Real Time Video Sharing
In what is just way cool for video collaboration, BlueJeans Network released their real-time video-sharing feature. This component of Blue Jeans will add another feature set that should help propel video streaming from many video sources.
The new feature supports industry standard file formats and is as easy as uploading files to a private folder and sharing them during any meeting. Video sharing features include:
* The ability to upload and share videos before and during the meeting through a new "sharing tab", available to all account holders.
* Simultaneous video playback across all supported video endpoints in the meeting including desktop, mobile, and room-based systems.
* Synchronous viewing by all meeting participants with play, pause, rewind, and fast forward controls.
* Automatic muting of the conference's audio when the video file is being shared.
* "Push to Talk" capability that lowers the video's volume, and allows meeting participants to talk over the video.
* Layout controls including Blue Jeans' unique "slider" functionality to adjust the relative sizes of the video being played and the video of the other meeting participants.
• Up to 50G storage for video files, with additional storage available if needed.
Now with these kinds of features, Blue Jeans is hopeful that, as their announcement puts it, "By enabling people to quickly and easily upload video files, and then to share and synchronously watch them with participants during a meeting, this will add a powerful communication and storytelling tool to the modern meeting." Making it easy to share video files is an ease-of-use barrier that Blue Jeans is removing, and while I think this is a great beginning effort, more is certain to develop because there are still federation challenges with audio and video in general between other silos and solutions.
While I think Blue Jeans is right about enhancing modern meetings, I also think some other dynamics will kick in. Users may demand to "see" the subject matter instead of trying to visualize. Having seen the subject matter in context to the videoconference will definitely be game changing. Then, meetings aren't going to be "just another meeting."
Another element in Blue Jeans' architecture is the synchronous viewing with built-in controls for viewers. They didn't stop there and added two key features (Automatic Muting and Push-to-Talk) to ensure that the video sharing goes smoothly while preventing disruption to the meeting and still encouraging/facilitating the shared video, with voice-over comments from the presenters. This is very encouraging, since a future with video calling could be the norm.
So maybe video sharing can spice up unexciting meetings for bored attendees, and the hard benefits of saving time and reducing travel costs are still key justification--but what about better collaboration? How can results of better collaboration be measured?
In my post, Reshaping Work by Video, I cited Blue Jeans' study showing key advantages and more ways of having people connect to their network with video. That study also cites time and cost benefits. We may begin to see new models to justify video collaboration, but I expect to hear the same hard vs. soft benefit arguments from customers and vendors.
Improving communications will certainly improve collaboration, and improved collaboration should translate to better results. Even so, challenges remain in quantifying and proving the results. Isn't it time that we were actually able to "show" people what we are talking about, and for clarity's sake give a live picture? Making a video call from any location/any device should be equivalent to making a phone call. Just watch in this video as the character James uses The Roominator to move between devices.
Availability and access to video is improving, but what about the results of collaborative efforts: Are these video-enhanced efforts improving organizational effectiveness and delivery? Then, because videoconferencing involves groups or teams of enterprise resources, is organizational efficiency and effectiveness improving?