The Future of Online Video
The popularity of video online has exploded since the launch of YouTube in 2006. Despite this, the Internet is still very much a text domain. Online video is sometimes seen as the toy of a younger demographic that is more suited to entertainment and the occasional viral video. People complain that they don't have time to watch through a video to find a specific piece of information. Whereas with text, they can quickly locate their point of interest.
Why Video Will Keep Growing
Humans are an extremely visual animal. This is partly a throwback to the time when our visual acuity directly correlated to our ability to survive. Our visual cortex (the part of the brain that interprets the light that passes through our eyes) process visual information unimaginably quickly. Video has the potential to provoke an emotional impact that is much more rapid than text.
Up until recently there have been several limitations to online video that have kept it from overtaking text as a primary means of communication online. But in the last three years, those limitations are slowly being removed. Once these limits disappear entirely, a new generation of technology savvy and video comfortable individuals could very well allow video to become THE primary mode of Internet communication. In this scenario, text is reduced to an augmenting medium that facilitates its use. Here's why.
Google and other companies continue to make advances in speech recognition and video time coding. Speech recognition allows a video to be 'transcribed' by software that recognizes the spoken words and turns them into search-able pieces of dialog that are cross-referenced with the video's time code. What this means is that video no longer need be linear.
A single piece of content that a user searches for can be plucked from the very middle of a video without the user needing to watch the entire thing. At some point commands will be able to be spoken to the search engine without the need to type. Now that 3D camcorders are becoming more popular a 3D web is also a likelihood. New users will demand a greater sense of reality and 'presence' from their video experience. This is nothing new. The Internet has shrunk distances between us and open new avenues of communication. The role of video in all of this has only just begun.
Michael Kaminsky is the author of Naked Lens: Video Blogging & Video Journaling to Reclaim the YOU in YouTube. The book provides a dynamic series of exercises that teaches readers to use video in an exciting new way.