We are currently working on an eBook in which we emphasize the relationships between the ever-evolving tech sector and the way businesses function. We spoke with Fabian Bernhard, Founder and CEO of Veeting Rooms to learn how VR could influence Web Conferencing, and what the office spaces of tomorrow might have in store for us.
Beaglecat: The notion of workplace as we know it is clearly undergoing rapid change. Do you think we will still have offices 10 years from now or will everyone work at their leisure from wherever they choose?
Fabian Bernhard: Most people who spend their working time in front of a screen prefer to work in a quiet environment. Office space, whether it is corporate or in one of these office hubs, provides exactly this, a quiet and productive environment. We will therefore still have offices in 10 years.
Google and others have had a big impact on modern office architecture and style. They have realized that employees work better in a positive environment.
Since our lives have changed to 100% online, always reachable and global, the border between work and leisure became fuzzy. We often answer emails or take calls “after work”. The flexibility towards work and the job requires adaptability in regards to the place of work too.
BC: In the future, do you see virtual reality as replacing video conferencing? People being able to meet in virtual worlds rather than via webcams.
F.B.: Nowadays, video and web conferencing are the best and most convenient way to meet online. It took a while to make this technology as widely and easily available as it is today.
The same will be true for virtual reality. As of this day, the technology is still too young to be a serious contester of Web conferencing. I can’t see the majority of business people wearing these clumsy glasses. In 10 years, these glasses will fit so naturally, everyone will do it.
Many companies, including the largest IT players, are working furiously on bringing virtual reality and even holograms to the market. No doubt, in a few years we will have even richer meeting experiences than we have today.
BC: Technology is advancing at a rapid pace. Please tell us 3 benefits and 3 downsides of this phenomenon.
- We can do more in less time
- We can do it better and cheaper
- We reach boundaries we have not even thought of a short while ago.
It is difficult to see downsides.
BC: Nowadays, if you go into a restaurant, you see people eating at the same table but not talking to each other because they’re all looking at their mobile phones. Would you agree that technology advancements are impacting our personal relationships? Would you say that they somehow steal our humanity and make us more superficial?
F.B.: Both the question and the fact are social trends. One can look up articles that ask the very same questions in a time when newspapers became widely available. People couldn’t stop reading newspapers and had their humanity stolen by this new technology!
Everything has an impact on who we are and how we interact with others. Today we feel overloaded with content, opinions, knowledge and entertainment. The human brain needs time to adapt.
Being interconnected with the world comes with new freedom, we can connect with whomever, whenever, wherever we want. With every newly gained freedom comes the first phase of adaptation. Remember when you first sat on a bicycle? You were going through a learning process until it became so familiar you never have to think of it again. You just hop on the bicycle and off you go. We are going through a similar process with our mobile devices right now. In a few years time, we will laugh about questions like this.
What makes us less human and more superficial is the constant monitoring of our conversations, the lack of places where we can speak in private. If we can’t express ourselves freely anymore because we always have to be politically correct we lose what makes us free and independent.
BC: In your opinion, how will the world look like in 2030?
F.B.: I don’t have opinions on things as big as the world in 14 years, I simply don’t know.
I am confident that technology will continue to shape our lives. Fintech, Biotech, Life Science, Telecommunication, Transportation… all industries continue to innovate, deliver better, smaller, bigger, faster, easier to use products, services and processes.
There is an experiment going on in Japan at the moment, in the wake of the preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Tourists who arrive at a point of entry can have their fingerprints and credit cards scanned. With the information stored on government servers, the tourists can then pay for goods and services by their fingertips. You provide your fingerprint at the hotel, and that’s it, check-in and payment are completed within seconds.
Whether or not this payment system will be embraced by tourists remains open. What it shows though is that with today’s technology we can improve processes in ways that were unthought of just a few years back. If we take the sum of all recent developments in all industries and try to predict the future we will have an infinite number of possible outcomes for the coming years. I modestly predict that whatever path we will have taken by 2030, it will be a bright, joyful one that nobody could have predicted today.
Fabian Bernhard is the Founder and CEO of Veeting Rooms. He is enthusiastic about creating great business solutions that work. Communication is one of the core needs of all human beings and one of the primary pillars for conducting business. His vision is to make Veeting Rooms the global brand for secure, reliable, usable and simple virtual meetings.