How Video Strengthens Audio During Meetings

Author: Meghan Kennelly

We all know that face-to-face communication beats email, text messaging, and phone calls when handling important business, but why is it more effective?


In this guide, we've explained why a video conferencing system like the Yamaha Huddly Collaboration Kit is so much more than a "video phone". By combining quality audio and video in seamless fashion, you can replicate the experience of face-to-face interaction, without ever leaving the boardroom. In fact, today's conferencing technology is so advanced that it tricks our brains into feeling like we're actually there.


How Your Senses Work Together

When it comes to perceiving our environment, our brains are extraordinarily complex, and our senses affect one another in bizarre and unexpected ways. Sound can play a role in how we taste, and sight can affect how we hear.


For example, if we're in a loud restaurant, our taste buds will have a diminished capacity for sensing sweet and salty foods. Likewise, having a stuffy nose can affect how we taste, because the two senses depend on each other for optimal performance. When we receive more sensory information, our brains create a more detailed picture of reality, and we can make better decisions in the moment.


In the workplace, these "cross-modal effects" can have an outsized impact on our perception. When we're video conferencing, the same principles are in play. If a poor web connection prevents us from hearing the other party, we start to associate negative feelings with the interaction in general. Similarly, if we see a degraded video signal, it can affect how we perceive the audio as well. As the saying goes, what you see is what you get. It's also true for what you hear, taste, and feel.



On the other hand, when sight and sound are perfectly synced, we experience a phenomenon called "superadditivity". This is just a scientific way of saying "the sum is greater than its parts."


When we perceive multiple senses at the same time, our brains enter an enhanced state. For example, if we hear a dog bark as she darts across the room, we experience a "neural spike". This heightened awareness is much richer than simply hearing the bark (or seeing the dog) in isolation. In fact, it can be 10 (or even 20) times more powerful.


Video conferencing systems play by the rules of superadditivity as well. When you use a device that syncs high-quality audio and video without skipping a beat, your brain perceives the interaction in a heightened state. Your neurons process information at a much faster rate, and you can focus your full attention on the conversation.


The Power of Video Conferencing

At an evolutionary level, we have a much longer history of using multisensory cues to communicate. Our modern lives may be filled with email and social media, but these new tools rarely take advantage of superadditivity. Usually, they only require us to use one sense (i.e. visual) at a time.


That's why video conferencing technology is so important. It provides a cutting-edge platform for us to use our voices, body language, and facial expressions in real time. The most powerful tools in our communication arsenal have a place to shine, without being hindered by slow streaming speeds and scratchy audio.


Of course, the future will bring many surprises. We're already talking to AI assistants on our smartphones, and perhaps that technology will evolve to the point where our brains enter a superadditive state when we use it. In the near future, we'll have conference calls in virtual reality, and it will feel like we're actually in the room together.


Until then, video conferencing systems offer the best solution for conducting business in multiple locations. Units like the Yamaha Huddle Collabration Kit combine crystal-clear audio, video, and screen sharing features in a wall-mounted package. They also support popular conferencing apps like Skype for Business, GoToConference, and Zoom.


With its beamforming microphone array, the ESB-1090 picks up every word in a conference, so that you don't have to repeat yourself during a crucial moment. Meanwhile, the ultra-wide angle camera makes it easy to see everyone in the room, without having to pan or zoom. When combined, these two features allow for enhanced communication, and they take our brains to a superadditive state. It's as close as you can get to being there.

Ready to experience a high-quality video conference for yourself? Click here to chat with one of our Revolabs representatives, and learn how all-in-one systems like the ESB-1090 can transform your office.