Nest, Fitbit, Apple TV: there’s no question that “connected devices” are commanding the consumer technology space and why shouldn’t they? Connected devices are simply a joy to use. Whether you are tracking your steps with a Fitbit or enjoying your “connected living room” with a Roku, Apple TV, Xbox 360, or any other of the seemingly hundreds of new products that pop up daily, the future of technology lies in the power of these solutions. Why couldn’t your video conferencing experience be just as easy and dare I say, joyful?
The idea behind a connected device (and by proxy, a connected experience) can be summarized by two key components: a brilliant service matched with specialized hardware built for that service experience. Think of a Nest thermostat. I am personally a big fan of this technology, and not just because my energy company in Austin, Texas offers discounts for those who use them. Nest is the result of years of innovation that blends hardware, software, service and UX in a pretty package. You would never go to your local hardware store and buy a Honeywell thermostat to sync to your Nest software. Nest was built with the service in mind, and that’s why it is so useful.
The connected experience is overtaking the consumer world, and I can’t help but wonder why the video conferencing industry is lagging behind. Connected devices have changed the way people interact with technology, and consumers expect the same simplicity in the conference room. Let’s think of other mega-trends that I and my colleagues have predicted over the last several years: BYOD, software is eating the world, and now The Internet of Things. It’s not just a mega-trend in the consumer tech world, it’s a mega-trend in the IT world. And it has the potential to fundamentally change the way end users view collaboration.
The battle has begun over who will “own” the living room. Who in the video conferencing industry will own the conference room?