Week 5: Communication Tools – – Reflect

Not everyone has the desktop or laptop computer setup for VoIP or video chat services but many have mobile-only access to the internet. What might be the implication for IM and VoIP services if the trend continues and there is more demand from mobile uses?

The trend of communication mediums correlate with the needs of users for information access and exchange. I consider that growing need at the present is to have technological devices that are user-friendly and immediately available. Furthermore, that the technology is adaptable for multiple purposes. For example, iPad and iPhone applications encourage users to complete various tasks from the one device, such as checking the weather, internet browsing and banking, gaming, and social media like Facebook and Twitter.

Adaptability also includes the need for device to perform as effectively as a computer, but be modified to suit the platform it is on, such as straightforward navigation. Therefore, IM (instant messaging) and VoIP (voice over internet protocol) also need to be altered for a mobile phone platform. I consider that this is already occurring in a sense with ‘Facetime’ that allows for video chat through a built in microphone and camera. Furthermore, the program operates with the address and contacts book of the device through which the email addresses serve as a link through the Facetime option. Furthermore, this capability of having information in a common area with applications synchronising to a main base of information would perhaps be beneficial for organising the VoIP and IM contact details. This is not dissimilar to the way in which Gmail connects to blogging capabilities, and how some mobile phones are now strongly focused on the features of Skype.

In addition to being accessible, it is important for these services to be feasible, mobile and efficient. One option is for these services to be merged with other main applications and areas, as identified above. Instant messaging is similar to texting; however for this to be effective it would need to be feasible for users to have this, for example to be cost-effective. The implication of these services would be that individuals may use this application in conjunction with their email, and limit their use of texting and calling. Furthermore, limitations to VoIP and IM such blurred imaging, image freezing and time delays as caused by internet connection, would likely encourage a stronger focus upon the reliability of a high internet reception service by users. If this technology is valued more than phone call or messaging, then the demand of mobile users would be for the services to be continuously maintained for efficiency.

Additionally, I think it will take on a greater purpose for application in workplaces and other areas, such as what is emphasised in the blog, ‘Cool Classroom Projects with Skype’ (Anderson, 2011). I consider that it will become a larger part of education, such as connecting to other schools and experts, but furthermore encourage the “breakdown of barriers” between the ‘work’ and ‘home’ sphere. Overall, the IM and VoIP services will be modified and improved to be dynamic for future needs which I believe, in essence, is the interconnectedness of information sharing.

Reference List

Anderson, S. (2011). Cool classroom projects with Skype. [Blog post] Retrieved from http://blog.web20classroom.org/2011/11/cool-classroom-projects-with-skype.html

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