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Are High-Def Video Clips The Future Of Work Communication?

Source | FastCompany : By RICH BELLIS

You know how it sometimes takes a Mariah Carey GIF to really get your point across? You might soon enough.

Text-based communication is gradually becoming less about text, or at least not just about text. Emojis are now common enough in work correspondence to require etiquette guides. Here at Fast Company, GIFs and short YouTube videos regularly pepper our Slack channels, and chances are that you’re seeing more multimedia in whatever group chat platform your company uses, too.

This might be a very good thing. Emails arenotoriously prone to being misread. In a 2005 study, researchers found people picked up on sarcasm in email messages just 56% of the time, making the chances of a joke actually landing not much better than a coin toss.

It probably doesn’t help that recruiters and hiring managers keep saying they need emotionally intelligent employees, but are having more trouble finding them. Some also report that younger workers tend to lack communication skills in particular, possibly thanks to the fact that so much communicating now happens behind screens.

Experts are still studying how digital technology affects the way we experience and convey emotion. But insofar as that interplay actually is causing communication breakdowns at work, can it also be a part of the solution?

GOING BEYOND THE GIF

Enter Vidii, a chat app launching this week that not only lets you add high-def, full-audio videos to ordinary text messages but—if you chat within the platform—will also employ artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze your emotional responses to them.

So instead of just sending you a grainy GIF of Mariah Carey crooning mutely before a pack of sailors, I can now treat you to a “vidicon” (no relation to thehardware used in 1950s TVs) of that same dance sequence from the music video for “Honey,” but this one’s in HD and every gorgeous note is intact. Vidii even links out to the full-length video, so the uninitiated can find out exactly what sliver of sepia-toned, late ’90s splendor they’ve just glimpsed.

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