I was attending an EU conference receently which benefitted from some pretty fancy comms and multimedia technology. As each speaker addressed the meeting from the floor, their moving image appeared on two giant screens at the front (with sometimes hilarious consequences, because eg the speaker was sitting directly behind someone who was much taller….leading to frequent mismatches between the voice and apparent face of the individual concerned).
Today’s invention is twofold…
a) simply equip each seat in an auditorium with its own webcam, rather than a central, tv-quality system (which needs a fancy system to point it in the right direction).
b) provide the chairman with a touchscreen showing all of the audience. This avoids having to spend a lot of time saying ‘ yes, lady in the red dress…’ etc which is embarrassing and slow.
Whoever is in the chair could select people whose ‘request to talk’ button was lit, by touching their face on the screen at the front and thus automatically switching their mic and webcam on.