Big Tech needs to shake up the video call and end the Zoom gloom

Ideas

Big Tech needs to shake up the video call and end the Zoom gloom

After nine months of near-constant virtual meetings, the main providers all still offer similar services

Elaine Moore

Like the rest of the tech world, I have a love-hate relationship with the gadget‑crazed Las Vegas hullabaloo that is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the annual trade show from the Consumer Technology Association.

On the one hand, there is the Nevada sunshine and the chance to see flying cars at the show, then eat a huge hotel dinner surrounded by the city’s neon-in-the-desert aesthetic. On the other, there is the sweaty crush of 170,000 people moving with you from one huge exhibition hall to another and the nagging feeling that wherever you are, something more interesting is probably happening somewhere else.

Still, the first virtual CES last week was a bit of a dud. Instead of sitting at a poolside table trying to work out whether a smart mask linked to a phone was more noteworthy than a bendy TV screen, I sat on my bed with a laptop on my knees watching a series of online keynote speeches and presentations. For all the talk of a snazzy virtual experience, it was strange how humdrum everything was. You could watch pre-recorded videos and streamed talks and that was it...

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