3-way video conferencing allows people in three different locations to communicate with each other in real time. This type of conferencing specifically refers to video conferencing that is conducted from three different locations and from three different computers. The development of fast Internet connections and inexpensive video and sound recording equipment has made 3-way video conferencing commonplace. A computer with a webcam and an Internet connection can be used for a 3-way conference, making it easy for individuals and businesses to make use of the technology.
Individuals and businesses both commonly use 3-way video conferencing. The technology can be used to talk to friends and family who are physically distant, which can help people feel closer and more connected despite being far away. In business, 3-way video conferencing can be used in lieu of physical meetings. Businesses can talk face to face with employees or clients that are not located nearby, or they can communicate distantly with other businesses. Using this technology, a product developer can communicate with a supplier and a manufacturer at the same time even if all three are in distant parts of the world.
In order for 3-way video conferencing to work, the people in each area need access to a number of different pieces of technology. A video camera is needed to take video of the people who are conferencing, and a microphone is needed to record sound so that the people in other areas can hear them. Monitors and speakers allow participants to see and hear others in the conference. Video and sound data needs to be sent to the other locations over an Internet connection that is capable of transmitting large amounts of data in real time. Modern laptop computers are usually outfitted with enough resources and the proper hardware to conduct video conferencing from homes, offices and public locations.
There are many types of software that can be used to provide 3-way video conferencing to the participants. In many cases, this software can be downloaded directly onto the participants' personal computers and can be used on demand. When working with small groups of people, free services are often sufficient to provide clear, reliable video feed for each participant in the 3-way video conferencing. Conferencing with more people may require more sophisticated software and web servers in order to process all the data.