“Video calls start with zero and end with zero,” Ashkenazi says. “The real world—and Switchboard—is a world where permanence and memory exist.”
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"Accepted standards are funny things. You can use a tech tool for months or even years without ever thinking about its shortcomings—and then, the second you experience a better alternative, you wonder how you ever dealt with the now-clearly-flawed setup you’d stuck with for so long."
- JR Raphael, Fast Company
The old way of doing things with video conferencing
In Fast Company, JR Raphael writes about Switchboard’s launch and observes how people have maladapted to existing video conference tools.
“Like most people these days, I participate in more than my share of online meetings. And aside from the occasional internal grumbling, I usually don’t give much thought to the way they work or what could make them more effective.”
We've gotten used to staring at people's faces and shared screens instead of focusing on the work you're doing together. The Switchboard video gallery can be minimized or even placed to the side of the room so you can pay attention to what matters: the work.
[Switchboard] “completely reimagines the way you interact and work with other people online. It takes the emphasis off faces and one-sided sharing and instead delivers a much-needed dose of real-world-like collaboration for your remote meeting experiences.”
A new way to collaborate
Video conference saved the economy but the focus is on communication instead of collaboration. Switchboard adds a collaborative layer to remote work that doesn't current exist. Video conference is table stakes but distributed teams need spaces where they get work done together.
“The easiest way to think of Switchboard is as an interactive canvas for your video calls. Instead of the default meeting visual being the faces of the participants, it’s a desktop—one that lives in the cloud, is specific to that individual meeting, and is available for all invited participants to share.”
Work in the apps you already use
If it works on the web, it works on Switchboard. Anyone in the room can add content: apps, websites, images, videos, PDFs. Not only can teams see everything in one view, but the rooms save everything added for the next time the team gets together.