Especially in less densely populated areas or for less mobile people a video conference system can ease the access to lots of advice, education and government or legal services. All these services can be used without leaving the house when a smart home video communication system is successfully implemented. Possible advantages of a video conference system include enabling authentication of the participating parties, more readily accessible public services for people with disabilities, avoiding long waiting queues in public buildings, and more comprehensive care than can be provided via telephone. Once installed, this system may also be used for educational purposes, to communicate with family or to enable surveillance of one’s property.
Average Implementation Time: 1-2 years
Initial Investment Amount: <50,000 Euro per system (includes two connected screens)
Video conference systems for city stakeholders (e.g. police, utility companies, planners etc.) and citizens allow the fast and efficient exchange of information in various situations (e.g. in case of emergencies). The product and the belonging services also will enable the monitoring of different environments and people with the need for help. The video conference market is estimated to reach up to $2.9 billion by 2020. (Manda, 2017)
Video conference systems can be used for several purposes, such as telemedicine, virtual learning, government services or judiciary. (Manda, 2017) (Hua, 2016)
Telemedicine, for example, can ease, fasten and comfort medical consulting at the same time. This offers especially elderly or people with reduced mobility a significant benefit. A possible process of Telemedicine is shown in the following:
- Patient connects to video conference system
- System sends a message to a doctor
- System loads patient’s medical record on doctors computer
- Doctor joins the conference
- Doctor fills the consulting form and saves it to medical record
- End of consulting
- System generates billing and sends it to patient
- Patient can view billing in his interface and can pay it online
Besides the social benefits for the community, the reduced need for travel also offers financial and environmental benefits. (Hua, 2016)
The implementation of a video conference system can be eased by a fast and reliable telecommunication infrastructure that provides a certain quality of service according to the predefined service level agreements. For instance, video streaming requires a relatively stable jitter value of the underlying network infrastructure which is a major prerequisite for a reasonable mode of operation for the video conference system.
The video conference system can be implemented in public spaces, in which case a cooperation with the city municipality and belonging utility companies and stakeholders will be required. Furthermore, a series of privacy concerns need to be taken into account depending on the legal situation in the corresponding country or city. Thereby, the privacy of persons as well as their specific personal data must be seen as the most important asset to protect.
- European Union’s Data Protection Directive (McKinsey, 2013)