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VideoCentric Integrates Conferencing into Personal Assistants

January 16, 2017

The use of personal assistants such as Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa has seen a dramatic increase in the past few years. Improved voice recognition and machine learning capabilities have made these virtual assistants much better equipped to handle requests, and customers everywhere are discovering the ease and convenience of these “virtual butlers.”

VideoCentric, a Web conferencing service based in the United Kingdom, has recognized the convenience that these virtual assistants offer, and has been looking for ways to integrate them into its existing services. By working with developers from Amazon, VideoCentric has created a version of its Web conferencing service that can be controlled with voice commands through Amazon’s Alexa platform. Users can simply use their voice to start or end meetings, display different screens, and execute any other commands they wish.

Using voice commands will help make meetings held over conferencing services feel more authentic, said Craig Brown, VideoCentric’s technical director, because it is “enabling a meeting host to walk into a room and interact via voice directly with the room environment.”

This will eliminate the need for confusing touch screens and keyboard commands that often vex conferencing users, especially those who are not used to the technology. This can be especially useful for conferencing for healthcare providers, who now will not have to worry about germs and other contaminants that can easily be passed from sharing screens, keyboards, or mice.

“This technology can make the workplace safer and more accessible for all, for example, enabling the initiation of video meetings in healthcare environments, where hands-free control can greatly reduce contamination,” said Mr. Pickford, a healthcare specialist at VideoCentric. There is also a direct benefit to the patient, he says, as using voice commands makes “conferences far more simple and possible for those with limited vision and mobility.”

VideoCentric’s integration of voice commands from Alexa is just another example of combining multiple useful technologies to create a significantly better user experience. Using voice commands will make meetings held over Web conferencing services seem much more authentic, and will make them more intuitive for those who are not familiar with the technology.

Edited by Alicia Young