Posted by Dan
Project Humanity’s main goal is to help people communicate and interact more with each other while taking into considerations the world we live in, it’s needs and available technology ( video chat / videoconferencing ). You will discover not only how easy communication can be but also how it can be useful not only to one individual, but to all of us.
In order for everyone to understand what is this all about i have prepared separate information from separate points of view but i suggest an interested reader to read the entire article for a complete and better understanding of things.
People like me and you
Everyone of us already used video chat/communication in one form or another. You used it while talking with your parents back home, while talking with your friends. Video chat is available nowadays in software like Yahoo Messenger Video, Skype and online applications like Google Talk with video and even more applications out there.
Because you know other people locations/IDs you can initiate a video communication basically when you need it. What if you don’t know whom you are calling ? OK … and why would i call someone i don’t know, maybe it’s some very bad person and i don’t want to talk with? Yes of course, you would not. You are right, so, there are very little chances of video chatting with people you don’t know and you probably have very little things to talk about with them.
Here is what i propose: I propose companies, organizations, governments to install conference systems ( basically a TV + Camera + internet connection ) in public places around your city, country, continent. I then propose to link this systems ( in pairs ) by means of internet in ways they see fit, giving you, the normal person the possibility to interact LIVE with someone else from another city, another country or even another contient while being in a PUBLIC place.
And the question … Why this would be such a good thing ?
Here is why:
the personal touch
Imagine yourself walking near such a system and seeing other people doing the same thing LIVE in other place. I am sure you will stop just for a second and the other person on the other side of the link will do the same. Then you can easily say HELLO! In time you will get accustomed with the system and say more things than just HELLO … you will ask about weather, time, any why not … fashion. The risk of meeting a person that will reject you and be rude to you is much lower than using the internet and normal communication means so you will learn to make more friends easily boosting your confidence, communication ability and helping you build a better community.
and talking about communication
what better way is there to learn a language other than talking with natives? Just imagine i am in Iasi, Romania and i can see and talk with people from London, UK. They will have for sure a thousand of things to ask me about my country that they know little about and i will have a thousand chances of improving my language, my communication skills and why not find the modern alternative to the old pen palls
the humanity side
sometimes bad things happens to people from other places, sometimes you feel the need to help those people in need but fail to do so because the lack of proper communication with people from that area. What if you would have somewhere in your city a permanent direct video link with persons that need your help from an disaster area. It doesn ‘t even have to be about money … in times of big disasters good words can have a greater impact on someone’s life than the money you can give him. You are free to choose what you want to talk about with the person you meet from that area, ask them about the conditions there, ask them if they need clothes, etc …
the helping side
and it’s not about you helping someone else it’s about someone else helping you. How can someone help me ? Let’s say there are more systems like this in your city. Some link to other cities, some to other areas with people that need your comfort. Some systems even link to people that like the same things that you do … even if that means they like to listen to the same songs that you do. It will be easy for you to just walk to the right place and get in touch with the right people. You just have to know where to find that link.
the informational side
sometimes we need to be informed, to be informed of laws of our country, to be informed of the flue, to be informed regarding any number of local subjects. Wouldn’t be easy to go and just ask more information on this things in a single place in your city? For example you go to the city hall to ask something about the local taxes, then they tell you … you should have gone to the other department that is located in another part of the city… this way, you loose time and of course money. What if you can ask all this questions in a single place … and then you will be transferred automatically to the required department and speak/see the required person. Each government office will only need let’s say one of this systems and will be able to serve anyone with almost any question.
the commercial side
even if it’s only for commercial reasons this systems can improve how we buy things in a way that we have never imagined. Let’s suppose I am in a very well known shop, trying to buy a electric appliance. Usually someone will come and try to convince me this one is the best choice ( or sometimes nobody comes 🙂 ). I usually like to receive a good advice before purchasing a product. Most of the times i know more about what i am buying than the seller itself and i am really disappointed of such stores that sell things to people without knowing what they are really selling. Maybe it’s not the shop’s fault … maybe it’s a new employee. What if i would near a video screen inside the shop and ask the person that i am seeing there for more informations about my chosen product. Maybe the system will tell me to wait for a few seconds until someone specialized in my chosen product will come and talk with me … ok i wait for a few seconds and then … i start asking the person about my product. He is a very well trained professional and can answer to most of my questions and so i am satisfied with the answers and with my choice.
The cost of all this ? Very low if you think at what humans can achieve using this systems, how can this systems unite all of us in goals like saving the planet, pollution, human rights, human emotions …
The technology ? High definition video ( TV quality ) over broadband ( normal internet connections ) was not an easy task but a lot of companies in recent years have come up with great ideas and great tools. We have no excuse not to implement this systems now!
The requirements ? We all know that we don’t like talking with robots and machines. We are humans and we only like talking to other humans! I suppose any successful system of this sort would have at least 2 basic requirements: LIVE ( the transmission should be real-time, no recordings ) and PUBLIC ( the system should be publicly available and thus under public scrutiny )
All companies have used and are using some form of video communication, either to promote their products or as a tool to train their employees or just manage the business. Until now videoconferencing was expensive for small businesses and used only when strictly needed. But what if you tried to use video communication/conferencing not only for internal or external communication but also for a better communication with the customer.
The customers don’t like watching ads in witch are told what they should buy anymore. The days of “buy detergent X because has a new formula” are over. Customers make now their choices rather different. They consult with each other using the internet, mobile phones, etc, they ask for more and detailed explanations on the product’s specifications, they want to know what is the product that suits their needs best. In term buying has become a more collaborative and informative procedure. And even more … the buying process is not only about this things anymore … it’s also about what does one company on a human level, can it be trusted, is it open and fair to customers ?
What is the system: I propose companies to install video conference systems in places where their customers are located and use them to help the customer decide and enhance the customers experience
What are the costs: simple video chat systems are rather free, and the semi professional ones are in a range of few thousand USD / complete system, for big enterprises the custom ones should be cheaper even than the semi-professional ones
How the system works: i will give you 2 basic examples of a customers:
– one is the customer of a department store that has shops in every city of one’s country etc. I will present this from the perspective of the customer to emphase on the outlying idea better:
“Let’s suppose I am in a very well known shop, trying to buy a electric appliance. Usually someone will come and try to convince me this one is the best choice ( or sometimes nobody comes 🙂 ). I usually like to receive a good advice before purchasing a product. Most of the times i know more about what i am buying than the seller itself and i am really disappointed of such stores that sell things to people without knowing what they are really selling. Maybe it’s not the shop’s fault … maybe it’s a new employee. What if i would near a video screen inside the shop and ask the person that i am seeing there for more informations about my chosen product. Maybe the system will tell me to wait for a few seconds until someone specialized in my chosen product will come and talk with me … ok i wait for a few seconds and then … i start asking the person about my product. He is a very well trained professional and can answer to most of my questions and so i am satisfied with the answers and with my choice.”
– the second example is about a customer coming to a tourism agency
“Each time i visit a tourism agency the people there are nice, they try to show me pictures from the locations they market, they give me books and informations about that location but each time i feel something is missing. Here is what i would prefer this to happen. I would go to a tourism agency talk with them about possible locations, if the tourism agency has many branches and maybe some person form another branch known more about one destination that the person from the local agency we would video call him and ask for his opinions … after i have decided on one or maybe 2 possible destinations we would ask permission to talk directly with the person in charge with the destination promotion ( this guy is a local and works for the hotel/company that will take care of us upon arriving there ). They guy is available and we start talking with him about the planned trip and i would ask him some minor details like the temperature and weather forecast around my arrival date, special things that i should know and some well known meeting places etc. Then the company would give me a CD with the recored conversation so i can remember the issues at a later time if i wish and i will proceed to booking everything that is necessary for the trip.”
What are the benefits:
I think you can easily see the benefits for the business and in turn for the customer. You can extrapolate the situation presented in the earlier sections for food-chains, book shops and any other type of business and customer relations. If you want to read more about the uses of such systems please read the other sections too.
Governments and governmental organizations are directed towards citizens. Government needs to inform citizens about the laws of the country, needs to ask people on issues regarding them, need to organize and help people in distress, need to do a lot of things that people require. Usually all this tasks are done by using media as a medium, by employing or requireing existent employers to communicate with citizens and enforce rules or get feedback. As with many big organizations with offices all around the country, the government is sometimes slow in providing help and guidance and thus creating sentiments of discontent among it’s citizens.
I propose governments to install conference systems in public places. I then propose to link this systems by means of internet in ways they see fit.
Here are some of the usages of such systems:
the entretaining and for the mental being of people
systems like this will be used for people from different cities of one’s country to share ideas, to support governments request, to spread informations, helping people to talk with each other while outside of the home
augmenting the educational system & promoting tourism
what better way is there to learn a language other than talking with natives and what a better way to promote tourism by talking with the people from the tourist destinations. Just imagine that we are in Iasi, Romania and we can see and talk with people from London, UK. They will have for sure a thousand of things to ask people from Romania, while Romanians will have a thousand of chances of improving their language skills, their communication skills and promoting in the same time the local tourism industry to other countries / regions
the humanitarian side
help people from disaster hit areas cope better with their pain and directly discuss with more fortunate people. This can well be done easily with mobile video systems and the government are the ones that profit the most from the country’s and people’s adhesion to one goad
the informational side
sometimes people need to be informed, to be informed of laws of their country, to be informed of the HXNX flue developments, to be informed of any number of local subjects. If every government sector will have systems like this installed would enable people to go for example to the city hall and ask something about the local taxes. Then the city hall employes whould not have to direct him to anther building, probably in the other part of the town. They would just transfer his request to the appropriate department in another part of the city and have the employee from there handle the question. This will save time and money for both government and the person, money meant for transportation witch in turn means less pollution and congestion on the streets of our city
the enviroimental side
the environmental side is an obvious thing when seeing the improvement in the efficiency of governmental systems. Less transportation costs for the citizens, more time for productive goals, easier and durable way to educate people by direct example ( on environmental and civic topics )
Here is a great tool in your quest to make the world and people of the world better. It’s basically the normal videoconferencing system put to a whole new use, as it’s becoming cheaper everyday and internet availability is almost everywhere. You want to help people in disaster hit areas, you want to make people be aware of other people problems, to be aware of earth problems. It’s easy like making people talk with each other. You can install simple videoconferencing systems in different points and link them in pairs of interest. If you want to let people know of some regions problems install in the target region some systems and the other ones in places where your possible audience is.
Using this LIVE and PUBLIC systems people will have direct access with other people in need, direct access with the ones that can help them or guide them. The cost implications are very low and the potential benfits are enormous.