Mobile video conferencing–approaches?

I often am asked the question…..

“I understand that the best vehicle to use video conferencing is on a PC, mac or laptop. However, I would like to know if I can engage in a video conference with my 4G device as you demonstrated? If so, how can I try it ?”

This is an interesting issue because it gets to the heart of what one expects to happen within a video conference.  The advanced tools that enable complex screen share, multiple participants, recording, two way interactions among a group, etc  are MUCH better done on a larger screen and a true computing device, not just for video, but because of value of having mouse, larger screen and a more controlled audio environment. Its the difference between participating in a conference call when sitting at a desk or table and when driving in a car distracted with other things.


I use ZOOM very actively for all types of meetings and I no longer do “phone calls” because there is no reason to not see each other when talking in real time about anything important.

The more one uses these in the real world the more one is impressed with the advances in mobile video interactions, as long as one’s bandwidth is sufficient. The tablet approach eliminates all the issues found with variability in audio/video devices for any given computer.

However, that is not suggesting that participating in a meeting with complex information sharing and collaboration workflow is optimal from a tablet or smartphone. It all depends on the purpose of the “meeting” and group dynamic.

As someone who does a huge amount of video conferencing for meaningful personal or group interactions, my prediction is that alot of people might “connect via a tablet or smartphone” initially, but rapidly realize how nice it will be when, say in 15 minutes they can get themselves to a real computer with large monitor and controlled audio setup..and really have a meaningful interaction. Or, if they have to leave a meeting early and go mobile, but dont want to miss the last part of it.  The more one plans to shift one’s workday to be on video interactions with people, the less one should be travelling around being forced to use smartphones and tablets for all this stuff anyway!!!  (THAT is the real transformation in workflow, in my opinion….it is when people literally stop moving around in order to meet effectively with many different people in different settings!)


This whole arena is a moving target with advances in the devices, the connectivity and the applications themselves. But it is the cultural change among people and how they work (especially those who still travel all over the place just to make presentations to others) that will likely lag the technology!

Your thoughts and comments appreciated.


About Andrew Barbash, MD

Neurology Telemedicine affiliated with Specialists on Call Virtual Care Services

Posted on July 19, 2011, in Virtual Care, Web Meetings. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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