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In the past several years video has pushed its way to the forefront as the next big thing. The first major development was the introduction of high-definition flat panel TVs. People were mesmerized by how big the screen was and the fact that it could be easily hung on their wall and take up virtually no living space. These bigger and better screens spawned the development of hi-def content that could take advantage of the bigger screen and the superior resolution. The second major development was the increase in bandwidth delivered by service providers. The pipe grew big enough to deliver bandwidth intensive video in a reasonable time and at sufficient quality. The final development was the birth of You Tube. You Tube allowed people to begin to view and share their favorite video clips with friends over the internet. In essence it created a world of unlimited channels that the consumer controlled by searching or more often discovering content recommended to them by friends or related to content that they had just viewed.While there were many other developments, these are what I call the “Holy Trinity” and stand out as the most significant. The speed in which these developed and spread was amazing and has spurred battles between the service providers, the TV manufacturers and internet video sites. Now everyone is putting their video cap on and beginning to think of new and innovative ways that video can be leveraged to change the consumer and business experience. Telco’s and cable companies are updating their networks to handle the increased network loads, amateur and professional content creators are seeking new ways to distribute content to their audience and businesses are evaluating how they can use video to be more collaborative. This competition creates confusion, but it also spurs innovation which creates business opportunities for both established players and new entrants. Most importantly innovation creates compelling new experiences for consumers and businesses.Regardless of the different philosophies being pursued its safe to say that video is about to become a much larger part of our personal and work lives. Some will see this as a bad thing and express concern that more video will further isolate people, increase the time that we spend watching TV, etc. Personally, I see it through a different lens. Working at Cisco I already see how video is having an impact on the way that people live, work, play and learn. As opposed to being a divisive force I think it can help bring people closer together. Video will have a major impact on how people live. It will augment existing text and voice communications making them more personal, more emotional. It will change where people are able to view TV shows and movies and which devices they will be able to use to access the video content. It will change the way that we learn about new ideas and share our own knowledge with others. It’s impossible to predict exactly what the future will look like, but it will certainly be exciting for both the people who are developing the video technology and the user community who gets to sample these new visual networking experiences.Sign-up for Cisco’s new web series Digital Cribs.View Michael Kisch's profile on LinkedInTo learn more about visual networking go to: Wikipedia

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