Conference calling has come a long way since the advent of those first webcams with their annoyingly grainy, low-quality video that skipped or froze every few seconds. In fact, you could say this form of communication is light years away from those early innovations. Today’s version of conference calling enables you to communicate across the globe in HD quality with incredibly clear audio. It’s almost as if the other people are right there in the room with you.
Although conference calling technology obviously has improved tremendously, there’s still more room for additional advancements. To envision the possibilities of the future, all we have to do is turn to science fiction for a few clues
Here are 5 incredible communication technologies that are mostly fantasy now … but could become reality in just a few years.
Remember all those “Star Wars” scenes that featured incredibly awesome holographic technology? This technology is closer to becoming reality than you may think. Currently, companies like Cisco are working on developing holographic teleconferencing. Several years ago, Cisco demonstrated the technology in India by “beaming up” one of its executives, who was in California at the time. So, you can imagine the possibilities. Instead of regular teleconferencing (or even video conferencing), you’ll able to see 3D images of people in real time and communicate with them in real time, as well. Cisco executives believe that in 5 years, the holographic communication technology shown in “Star Wars” will be available in business offices, hotels and our homes. In fact, the first 3D holographic device like the one in “Star Wars” (yes, along with a human pod) already has been created by Queen’s Human Media Lab scientists.
2. Quantum Entanglement
The quantum entanglement communication technology seen in the video game Mass Effect 3 also could become reality in the near future. This technology employs quantum communicators that become entangled with each other and are, therefore, in constant “lag-free” communication. This technology would allow people to communicate with each other instantaneously no matter where they are—even if they are “off the grid,” so to speak. Of course, the cost of this technology would be quite expensive right now, but that has never stopped innovators from seeking ways to get it to market.
3. SEELE Stonehenge
In the cult-classic anime, “Evangelion,” secretive Seele conferences take place that feature digital tablets that enable each member of the Seele council to communicate privately among themselves. The images of the powerful members are blacked out but the members’ numbers are displayed on the screen along with live audio. This technology isn’t far-fetched at all; there’s no reason something like this could actually be set up today. Maybe something like this does currently exist and we just don’t know about it. It is quite secretive, after all.
4. Telepathic Communication
Why set up a conference call when you can just communicate with people telepathically? Science fiction movies like “Independence Day” depict aliens as evolved creatures who communicate with each other through their minds.
Believe it or not, this could become a reality someday as well. IBM researchers believe telepathic communication could theoretically be accomplished by linking communication devices to our brains. The first step in this process would be communicating with your device via your thoughts. The next step would be communicating with others via your brain through that device.
5. More Versatile Computers
The technology seen in the movie “Minority Report” also could be coming to your front door. This technology includes the ability to project a computer touch-screen onto any surface as well as face-recognition software that can identify anyone and instantly pull up relevant information about them. This could mean that when teleconferencing with a client or business partner, important information about that person will be displayed on the screen as you talk to them. This technology also could allow teleconferencing to be much more mobile since people wouldn’t be tethered to their computers.
Communication technology continues to leap forward. It doesn’t matter what sci-fi dreams up in terms of communication; we always seem to be able to reach it, even if it takes a while. We may never colonize Mars, but the fact that we’ll be talking about our shortcomings on holographic projects takes away a bit of the sting. Communication technology always manages to help us take a major leap forward.