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Video Conferencing is one of most frequently used methods of communication in the world. It is what allows people from around the world to talk to each other and work together without actually having to travel the distance. As multiple video conferencing software like Zoom have come up, virtual business meetings and web conferencing have become increasingly common.

Video conferencing allows people to hear and see each other no matter which hemisphere or time zone they live in. Combined with additional collaboration tools such as screen sharing, interactive whiteboards, instant messaging, and video conferencing has completely changed human interaction be it personal or professional. However, how video conferencing works is much more complicated question than what it is. Though for the users it may seem as simple as a click on a button, how that click leads to something so amazing is far more difficult to understand. We have attempted to explain it in a manner that is accessible to even someone who is not familiar with the workings of software technology.

In a video conference, we are able to see each other thanks to video cameras. Though most computers, laptops, tablets and phones now come with inbuilt video cameras, earlier it was possible to attach an external camera to your computer which the transmitted your video via the internet to the people you were talking to. It is also important for your device to have microphones, as it is what transmits your voice to the listeners. Along with microphones, your computer or laptop must also have speakers because they enable you to listen to the people who are speaking to you.

The most important part of video conferencing is the multipoint communication unit that allows three or more people to attend the video call. Without this vital piece of technology, video conferencing would be barely any different from audio conferencing.

When you are in a video conference, your audio and video data is in the form of waves and frequencies that are transmitted digitally, i.e., through the internet. However, the data cannot be sent without being compressed. This is because then an immense amount of bandwidth required sending uncompressed data. It is compressed with the help of codecs. These codecs are then used to decompress the data when they have reached the receiving virtual conferencing system and then are converted back into video and audio. This, thanks to multipoint communication units can be done with multiple systems rather than just two.

We hope that we have succeeded in explaining how video conferencing works in an understandable manner. Video conferencing, like everything else in the world, has its pros and cons. It allows us to do a lot but also has its limits and it definitely seems like something out of a science fiction film made in the late twentieth century. As we see these technologies that people had only dreamt of coming true, the possibility of what is next has become even more exciting.


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