AT&T introduced the video call in 1968 in Newyork at the World’s Fair. In 1968, Standford Research Institute introduced multi-user video conferencing. Nowadays mobile technologies and HD technologies are growing exponentially. The surging demand in the field is driving the market. The virtual communication process is rapidly improved by implementing the latest technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).

The web conferencing solution offers real-time collaboration. It also offers the share-the-screen facility with all other participants. Users can provide annotations and chat with other participants and can record the conference. With a web conferencing solution you can share your desktop, documents, or application windows with a number of meeting participants in real-time.

Skype is a popular video conferencing solution, you can generate your free unique link with one click, then share it with participants to enjoy unlimited meetings with Skype. The neat interface offers focus and allows you to engages in your online meeting without any distractions. You can record your call for later reviews and note-taking and can store your recording for up to 30 days. You can share your presentations, work materials or designs in your conference call.

The rich interface in Uberconference allows you to mute a noisy caller and sallows dial-in to another person mid-call. You can easily share the screen by clicking the Share button on the UberConference dashboard.

Online meetings, training, and remote support. It offers a free account for personal and business use. Participants can connect through a web browser and can join meetings through iOS and Android app, or by using your mobile devices web browser.

Open Source web conferencing solutions

Openmeetings is a free tool offers video conferencing, instant messaging, whiteboard, collaborative document editing, and other groupware tools.

Jami is a free web conferencing solution, it is completely peer-to-peer and doesn’t require a server for relaying data between users. Latency and transfer speeds are greatly reduced due to the direct peer-to-peer connection. Another important feature of Jami is, users who are on the same local network can communicate with Jami even if they are disconnected from the internet, and no personal information needs to be provided when creating an account. Jami is available on Linux, Android, AndroidTV, Windows, macOS, and iOS.

Linphone is an open-source instant messaging and voice/video over IP (VoIP) phone that makes it possible to communicate freely with people over the internet via voice, video, and text messaging.

For Teaching and Learning

Are you looking for a professional solution for teaching remote students online? Then BigBlueButton is for you. BigBlueButton is a web conferencing system designed for online learning. It provides real-time sharing of audio, video, slides, chat, and screen. Students are engaged through the sharing of emoji icons, polling, and breakout rooms. BigBlueButton helps you to share your audio, slides, chat, video, and desktop with students. Moodle and Sakai have plugins for deep integration with BigBlueButton. The whiteboard tool in BigBlueButton enables annotations is automatically displayed back to the students in real-time. Presenters also have the ability to zoom, highlight, draw and write on presentations making your points clearer to remote students.

This tool is an open-source web conference system built on top of the BigBlueButton. The Mconf-Web, a web portal for people to collaborate asynchronously, schedule and participate in web conferences.

{ Warning: } Zoom app is one of the most downloaded apps for video conferencing. But recently due to a Zoom bug that allows hackers to take over webcam and microphone, I placed Zoom at the end of this article.

Zoom is a video conferencing solution with real-time messaging and content sharing. Zoom Meetings syncs with the calendar system and delivers streamlined enterprise-grade video conferencing from desktop and mobile. It brings HD video and audio to your meetings with support for up to 1000 video participants and 49 videos on the screen. Multiple participants can share their screens simultaneously and co-annotate for a more interactive meeting. It also offers end-to-end encryption for all meetings, also offers role-based user security, password protection, waiting rooms, and place attendee on hold. You can also record your meetings locally or to the cloud, with searchable transcripts.


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