Recently, Microsoft released its vision video preview for Skype for Business, which suggested some major changes to ways we currently conduct business. The video shows a wrist-worn communication device that allows you to contact colleagues on the fly. It also illustrates how Skype can help people be virtually present in the office while actually working in the field. Skype-powered technology can integrate data into one space and share it on a big screen to facilitate brainstorming, can instantly translate speech into a number of languages, and even simulate a doctor’s house call – if what is depicted in the preview becomes a reality.
Really, nothing in Microsoft’s Skype for Business preview is all that far-fetched. Skype has already drastically changed how people keep in touch on both business and personal levels. Presently, you can video chat with anyone, anywhere to conduct interviews, meetings, or just catch up on the latest news. It’s not that big of a leap to envision using Skype to do these same things in the great outdoors or to integrate it with web searches and data files. The basic technology is already there; the vision video just shows some tweaks and new exciting applications.
The possibilities illustrated in the preview video highlight Microsoft’s mission to develop cross-platform technology that increases productivity. While Skype for Business may not initially perform as seamlessly as the video leads us to believe – especially with real-time translation when voice recognition on smartphones has yet to be perfected – there are products already advertised that do similar things. For instance, Microsoft’s Surface Hub combines Skype with an 84-inch touchscreen display, and the HoloLens promises to take holograms and headsets to the next level.
Skype for Business costs $2 per user per month and replaces Lync Online.