zoom cloud meetings
Hanging out on video apps... When work and learning gets done remotely, video apps are the way to do it. UAE residents are getting good vibes connecting through these apps. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

The need for social distancing and staying at home has had a significant impact on the way we communicate. As everyone knows, we in the Middle East prefer to communicate face-to-face to facilitate things - this is our nature.

But by working and studying from home, and the commitment of the vast majority to stay at home, our habit is facing a new challenge, which is adapting to social distancing. As usual, technology comes to the assistance of human beings, and this time it represented in the conversations, communications and video meetings that have reduced the sense of isolation among those who use it.

As is known to everyone, these technologies were closed to us and a majority did not realize the impact - and the many benefits - of such video communication, whether at work or among family and friends.

A sense of ‘real’ communication

Today, many groups use these technologies in meetings between employees, family, and friends. According to a poll on Twitter, when using video communication, whether with an individual or a group, gives them a feeling of happiness and compensation for attendance. Their division was as follows: 19 per cent chose from 30-50 per cent “feeling of communication”, 17 per cent chose from a 50-70 per cent feeling of communication, and 18 per cent chose more than 70 per cent feeling of communication, while others, who accounted for 46 per cent, said their feeling was less than 20%.

There is no doubt that by providing space for such technologies, we have discovered they are a necessity for all because of various benefits. These include setting up videoconferences between employees, creating lectures, video lessons, distance education, attending webinars and “remote” exercising, as well as creating a smart work environment,as is currently the case with the vast majority.

Among the benefits to come will be new jobs in the labor market such as call centers “from home”.

Inevitable

A human by nature tends to develop, improve himself, seek solutions and use the best. We, in the UAE, have the greatest challenge that always exists, It is the challenge to be number one, which used to run in our elders’ veins and we after them. Among the most important is the key to visual communication, which opens up horizons that were closed to us, and now we experience it in all our daily moments - at work, with family and friends, in self-development, continuous learning, and skills development.

Transformation

There is no doubt that many of those who did not like this had their own reasons, and many did not use these technologies, and even do not know how to because most of the available apps are directed to businesses in general. The easy apps, at least some of them and perhaps the most important, are still closed, such as Apple FaceTime, Google Duo, WhatsApp, and others.

As for business apps, because tens of millions log on them in less than a week, they had no choice but to develop their upgrades quickly, cover all shortcomings and security vulnerabilities and add features one after another. Fierce competition has begun among them. Even Google got up from its coma and started developing its Hangout app, but changed its name to Google Meet to show the world that this belonged to it.

Widespread use

In another poll on my Twitter account for users of these apps, in which 702 people participated, the question was specifically, “Which apps do you use to talk to your family and friends these days?” The responses were as follows: 10 per cent use Microsoft Team, 24 per cent use Zoom, and 5 per cent use Google Hangout while the rest expressed that they do not use video communication apps for one reason or another. Other twitterers mentioned TikTok and Skype.

For the record, there is no system or app that is 100 per cent secure

- Ahmed Al Zarouni

A lot of gossip about Zoom

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about Zoom and that there are many security vulnerabilities in its systems. But we know that most of these observations have already been compiled and security enhanced. For the record, there is no system or app that is 100 per cent secure, and vulnerabilities are present in each app. The most important point is how quickly the company responds with an update and this is exactly what we saw with Zoom, the leading company in this field.

Desire and need

We ask service providers to come up with a solution to provide packages that serve this type of communication, develop systems in cooperation with major companies, use protocols and open source applications to provide similar solutions, or even better than existing ones. Let’s compete for number one and have self-sufficiency in services.

- Ahmed Al Zarouni is a keen follower of all things tech.