Nvidia Omniverse: Could it make today’s videoconferencing apps obsolete?

Disclosure: Nvidia is a client of the author.

This week, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang met with a bunch of analysts to talk about his Computex announcements, which weren’t as noteworthy as something he said at the end of his presentation. Jensen positioned Omniverse the same way he’d presented autonomous driving 20 years ago — as a worldwide game-changer.  Jensen was right about autonomous technology, which is redefining almost every form of transportation. And I think he is likely right again now. 

I think it is important because I doubt any of the videoconferencing vendors have this on their radar, yet it could make most, if not all, of their platforms obsolete. So let’s look at Omniverse and why it could make every videoconferencing product currently on the market obsolete.

The videoconferencing features we still lack

I’ve been covering videoconferencing since the 1980s, and two requirements have been consistently overlooked: interoperability and side engagements. Interoperability is the one that bugs me the most; it was a clear requirement for telephones early on and it carried through to smartphones (except for video calls). Even Microsoft, which has become an interoperability king almost everyplace else, hasn’t stepped up to address interoperability, likely because a provider can’t.

No competitor will embrace a competing product, but a third party, like Nvidia, could create a standard the others might embrace. 

The other, and far more challenging to solve, problem is side engagement. When you go to a physical meeting, you can have conversations with other people in the room, wander off, and have side chats —  or maybe grab a meal with someone at the event. These side discussions are often valuable because you find out critical things you otherwise wouldn’t have known. You develop relationships that will be useful in your current job and your career long term. 

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