The office environment continues to evolve, and this is perhaps most apparent when it comes to technology. Countless technologies rise each year, with just as many fading into obscurity; this can make it something of nightmare to keep on top of the tools on offer and find the best fit for your company. Each year however there does emerge a few trends which are fairly consistent regardless of industry, company size, or approach. This year many of these trends focus on technologies intended to ease collaboration, among other applications, and as such that is the area we have chosen to focus on for the purposes of this article. So, what are the collaborative technology trends which look set to shape the office environment of 2018?

4K Resolution

The conference room will become an even more critical part of conducting successful meetings with the help of highly sophisticated 4K cameras that feature the best resolution the industry has seen. This technology has grown significantly in the home environment as seen in TVs and PCs, but as more millennials enter the workforce, the demand for high-quality video resolution (a.k.a. lifelike video) in the office will grow exponentially. Not only does this increase in quality improve the overall meeting experience, it is also essential in driving other advancements in technology.

Advanced Monitoring & Analytics

With innovation driving the installation of smarter, higher-quality cameras in the workplace, these “eyes in the office” will gather important data to help give context to how a meeting is proceeding – much like sentiment analysis used for customer service calls. Typically, there is only one camera in a conference room and it doesn’t give a good indication of how the room truly looks or feels. For larger meetings, multiple cameras will utilize machine vision to help check the mood of the room: Are people engaged? Is there free-flowing conversation? Is someone sleeping? What is on the whiteboard? This data will then be used to, hopefully, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of future meetings.

Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

Cloud-based video conferencing solutions give access to huge amounts of data about meeting habits. This data, aided by artificial intelligence and machine learning, could allow for an increase the to the effectiveness of meetings – many of the other trends in technology (for example virtual assistants and facial recognition) are, in effect, powered by AI. At a basic level, AI could enable us to determine optimal meeting length, ideal number of participants, or best time of the day to hold a meeting to improve productivity. Voice recognition could analyse the content of meetings, compare against other meetings in the same organization, and make suggestions as to connections between people with complementary skills or knowledge.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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