There are fascinating technologies on the landscape, such as virtual reality and 3D. For the UC industry, the most exciting element may not be the technologies themselves, however. It may be that modern telecommunications and IT systems are in reality huge UC platforms into which these new applications will neatly fit.
It is reasonable to wonder which of these technologies will take off. But one thing is safe to assume: Those that do will be subsumed into the grand definition of unified communications.
It doesn't really matter if UC is or isn't mentioned specifically in news reports of the companies' moves. Everything emerging today is, to a greater or lesser extent, part of UC simply because modern platforms are, more or less, UC platforms.
This week, Nokia and Intel, along with the University of Oulu in Finland, announced creation of a research center for 3D and VR at the school. The Computerworld story on the announcement said the center will be staffed by 24 engineers and use the MeeGo operating system launched earlier this year.
Intel and Nokia aren't alone in seeing the big potential of emerging technologies, of course. Last month, Network World ran a piece describing how Avaya Labs – which is described as working like a startup within the big vendor's corporate structure – is working on VR, context engines and Facebook and Twitter prioritization. Again, each of these elements will be tied, in one way or another, with unified communications.
There are two takeaways to consider. The first, of course, is the distinct value of each of the technologies that vendors and service providers produce. The second is that anything that emerges will by definition be part of the ever-expanding world of unified communications.