Originally Posted by shamino
Think of what happens when you're on a many-way conference call and a few people all try to speak at once. The voices all get muddled and you can't make out anything that was said.
With decent stereo separation, it will be much easier to separate the voices - just like you can do in a face-to-face meeting.
The real interesting thing here is going to be getting carriers involved. When you make a conference call over land lines, the sound from the various parties is multiplexed in the central office (or at a PBX or a conference bridging-center). Under that circumstance, then the phone won't be able to separate the streams and reposition them.
If, however, you receive each party's sound as a separate data stream, then this system shouldn't be that hard to implement. I've already seen this feature in standalone video conferencing systems. (Doesn't iChat also do this to some extent when you have a multi-way video chat?)
Does anyone know where the audio is mixed for GSM-based conference calls? If they're mixed at a centralized location, then I think this feature will require changes to the carrier's infrastructure in order to make it all work.
Originally Posted by addicted44
Directional sound is not new technology, and has been implemented by many companies. How would having directional sound "hurt" in any ways? First of all, it can easily be made completely optional. Secondly, you dont necessarily need to place someone behind you, and someone else in front of you, but instead if you are in a conference call with two people, and instead of both persons sounding like they are speaking from the same place (e.g. front), if one sounds like he/she is speaking from slightly left of front, and the other slightly right of front, how would this be any worse than what you have now? On the other hand, it will make it very easy to identify who is speaking what even if the voices sound similar.
Btw, if this issue prevents a person from reading a 400+ book just to have a conference call, then more power to them! Additionally, a lot of conference calls are not even done with people from your own company. Are you gonna hang up on your client who is giving you half your business because he is not courteous? Also, basic etiquette does not help identify who is speaking when you are speaking to 3 or 4 complete strangers, whose voices possibly sound similar (very common especially in international calls).
Simply put, etiquette is everything when leading a cc.
Establishing etiquette and maintaining it throughout the call is essential for leading an effective call, especially when you have cc's with internal and external participants. It is simple - have everyone say their name first. If you are interested, here's a post I've written about handling Skype based cc's where there is time delay in the responses.http://www.conferencecalltraining.com/power/?p=89
Hanging up on clients does not sound like a sound business strategy! The basic problem with cc's is that no one has ever set a consistent standard for how they are conducted. We are in the middle of the evolution of how to run effective cc's (webinars, web-based meetings, etc). Meeting management went through a similar evolution in the 80's and 90's.
With travel costs and delays (sorry to anyone caught in the recent AA mess), there will be more and more people utilizing cc's. Thanks Apple for pushing the envelope. Now if Jobs can just get AT&T to keep up....