The Coronavirus pandemic pushed organisations to the edge, and most employers shifted to work-from-home arrangements. With movement restrictions in place, people also adapted to video conferencing tools for keeping in touch with family and friends. 2020 forever changed how people conduct business and communicate. Video conferencing and one-to-one video call once deemed as a luxury and convenience, are vital to staying connected and resuming education and work today.
Video Conversations on the Upswing: Pre and Post-Pandemic
COVID-19 introduced humans to a world joined at the hip with video calls. Web conferencing, popular long before the pandemic, now has an estimated worth of $12.5 billion. Zoom saw a 30X fold increase in downloads year-by-year, and the overall number of video calls in Microsoft Teams grew by more than 1,000% since March.
Although work was a significant drive for people utilising video conferencing, post-pandemic struck world also saw weddings, late-night talk shows, remote schooling and college education, webinars, family reunions, and award shows happening online.
Platforms like Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, ezTalks Meetings, Cisco Webex, etc., have facilitated real-time communication between teachers, friends, classmates, loved ones, colleagues, employers, health care practitioners, customer care services, and more.
Challenges Facing Video Conferencing
While video conferencing has an incredible set of perks, it lacks human connect. Due to the absence of face-to-face conversations, it can be challenging to read the room and understand engagement during interactive sessions. After a remote work meeting or a therapy session, there are no concrete ways to know what the employees or patients respectively are feeling.
But what if the technology that brings humans closer could also unveil their emotional state, remotely?
That’s precisely what Emotion AI-assisted systems are capable of doing. Emotion recognition technologies like facial coding can detect and analyze facial expressions and non-verbal cues to interpret attention, engagement, sadness, happiness, and more. Emotion AI, already a $20 billion industry as reported by Washington Post, is now becoming a part of the growing video communication space.
Nowadays, the demand for video conferencing is reaching new heights every day. A 2018 study by Frost and Sullivan says that the global conferencing services market is growing due to the increasing mobility, accessibility, and rich analytics. The report also predicts that soon platforms will create video conferencing solutions that offer more personalized digital experiences, and Emotion AI vendors have taken note.
How Can Video Conferencing Platforms Leverage Emotion AI Solutions?
Organizations are employing Emotion AI vendors to strengthen one-to-one interactions and group conferencing scenarios. These platforms use emotion recognition software to evaluate the response from facial emotions of the video callers.
For instance, after a meeting ends, employers may want to take stock. Earlier, organisations used focus groups, feedback forms, anonymous surveys, and HR sessions to understand how effective the workplace arrangement is. However, since most companies are working from home, receiving genuine reaction through conventional methods isn’t feasible. Here, by employing Emotion AI platforms to decode employee’s facial expressions, monitor subtle eye movements, and capture responses in real-time as they offer feedback can be revolutionary.
With customer service going entirely digital during the pandemic, call centers and sales teams can gain valuable insights from the emotional data of their customers. With the help of Emotion AI platforms, they can understand what their customer is feeling. Customer services can customize customer experiences and gain an in-depth look into the micro-emotional reactions and real-time responses that users experience during their online experience using facial coding insights.
Counselling and Therapy
Mental health service providers are bringing on board emotion recognition vendors to analyze online video sessions. Facial coding technology can record and interpret overall positivity or negativity of the patient’s facial expression. These insights can help psychotherapists and counsellors track how a particular session went.
With the global healthcare burden and a large population in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, Emotion AI solutions can help facilitate informed communication. Emotion recognition assisted systems can serve as a monitoring tool in doctor-patient scenarios. Facial coding software can analyze behavior, eye movements, and overall facial expressions to deduce the mental state of the patient and their real-time response to the doctor’s diagnosis.
Emotion AI platforms can employ facial coding software in scenarios mentioned above and many more to interpret boredom, distraction, confusion, joy, sadness, and advanced emotions like lethargy and stress.
New Technologies To Enhance The Efficacy of Video Conversation
Video conversations are becoming more commonplace by the minute. While human beings are naturally well-versed at interpreting body language, non-verbal cues, and nuanced facial expressions, remote video conversations opened an avenue of opportunities for the Emotion AI industry.
Technologies like facial coding will find new applications across domains to gauge user emotions remotely. Technology is indispensable in transforming the way video conversations happen today. However, still in its infancy; the industry is making rapid strides in personalizing user experiences.