The popular cartoon “The Jetsons” provided baby boomers a glimpse of what great things the future held — from robot maids to flying cars. Rather than making simple phone calls, the characters were often seen using real-time video streaming, whether it be Jane talking with her family or George getting a call from his boss, Mr. Spacely, yelling, “JETSON!!!”
In 2015 we have far surpassed the expectations of the Jetsons, with real-time video streaming technology being used regularly in business and home environments. And what’s more, its use isn’t confined to a single monitor, but can be used on-the-go from a variety of mobile devices.
While real-time video streaming is no longer something to be imagined, there are still industries that have yet to fully embrace its infinite uses. Here’s our own futuristic look at industries that will start realizing the benefits of real-time video streaming in 2015 and beyond.
Increasingly, law enforcement agencies are realizing the benefits of equipping their officers with body-worn video cameras. The use of body cameras reduces tension between the police and the public they serve, and provides a record of an encounter between an officer and a civilian to prevent frivolous accusations. However, viewing video evidence after an incident is no longer enough.
Police departments will eventually be required to equip their officers with body-worn cameras that will live stream footage back to the command center, and house captured footage off the device for safekeeping. This will enable real-time assistance, which may prevent unnecessary incidents from occurring altogether, and will ensure evidence isn’t lost or tampered with.
Oil and Gas
As the lifeblood of the global economy, it’s crucial that the oil and gas industry operates as efficiently as possible. However, issues typically occur in remote locations—far from company headquarters—which can slow down important inspections, equipment maintenance and infrastructure troubleshooting that ensure operations continue as usual.
Real-time video streaming will fuel remote collaboration in oil and gas by helping to easily connect workers at these remote locations with subject matter experts back at headquarters—speeding up problem resolution and improve production uptime.
The auto industry is facing a shortage of skilled technical manpower at a time when rapid advances in vehicle technology are requiring auto workers to go far beyond just fixing starters, spark plugs, pistons and carburetors. This means that mechanics are likely to face more complex technical repairs, such as computer troubleshooting, and their ability to accurately describe the issue can make the difference between getting the vehicle back on the road… or not.
To help resolve issues quickly, the auto industry will begin equipping mechanics with real-time video streaming technology so they can immediately connect with subject matter experts who can “see” the problems the mechanics are dealing with and give instantaneous guidance on how to resolve them.
Cable, telephone and Internet are now combined into a single solution that is part of a much bigger entertainment ecosystem. When today’s cable technician arrives at the customer’s home for a service call, he is troubleshooting a complex system that includes (but isn’t limited to) routers, STBs, Wi-Fi, VoIP, Smart TVs and DVRs. Even though the cable tech is a multi-domain expert, he may encounter something outside of his realm of expertise.
The cable industry will start equipping field techs with real-time video streaming software so that they can instantly broadcast any issues or irregularities to support teams at headquarters. This will be much more effective than describing what the cable tech is seeing over the phone, and will ensure that the issue is resolved in a timely manner. The technician will be able to get to his next appointment on time, and the customer will be back up and running as quickly as possible.
A Final Word
The uses of real-time video streaming are infinite, and we’re only scratching the surface when it comes to the benefits it will present. While there are already forward-looking companies that have begun using real-time video streaming in law enforcement, oil and gas, automotive, and cable, we will eventually see its use as prevalent as videoconferencing in the boardroom.
Are you in one of these industries taking advantage of real-time video streaming? We’d love to hear how you’re using it and what you think!