Eclectic Homes

Hang Out With Friends All Day, Anywhere You Go

You’d likely spend more time with friends members and family, if you can. But life expectancy, taking everybody you know to far corners of the planet and filling their days and yours together with work and other necessary activities.

Many men and women think that it will be great to hang out all day together with their closest family members and friends. But that’s usually impossible. The next best thing? A magical window that, rather than showing us the other side of the wall, as ordinary windows do, shows us the lives of our family, friends and colleagues.

I have great news and … good news. The good thing is that windows exist. And the really great news is that you already own one. It’s called video. And it’s possible.

Ambient movie is a movie connection with another location or individual that runs all day, even if you’re not speaking — even if you are not there.

A change in outlook

In the first days of universal telephone service, people used to yell into the phone once the call was long distance, though it was unnecessary. In the first days of mobile phones, people used them for emergencies, even though such a restriction was unnecessary. And today we often feel anxious about movie calls, feeling the necessity to be in the front of the screen and continue speaking, then close the window as soon as possible following the speaking is done, though that’s unnecessary, also.

Finally, we’ll all get used to ambient video. However, for now it requires a change of perspective. If you are ready to reside in the future, here are three products that make ambient video awesome.


Connecting locations

Tony Bates wrote on the firm blog this past year concerning the power and joy of surrounding video. He explained that Skype connects all its remote offices using these constant video links: “We have TV screens placed near all of the water coolers in our offices so that anybody in 1 office can see what is going on in any of our other offices around the world through Skype Group Video Call.”

Ambient movie, he wrote, “will help to make people feel as they are at home together with each other,” and it “provides the warmth and familiarity of the location and the people our customers love all of the time.”

Skype Group Video Call is a paid Skype service that allows multiple people to combine the exact same video call. The others are seen by each individual. Although up to 10 people are able to join the call, only one of them requires a paid Premium Skype account, which costs a few dollars per month, based on the location and choices.

But Group Video Call isn’t necessary. All you actually need is a one-to-one Skype link, which is absolutely free.

The ideal camera positioning for ambient video links that’ll be one off — in other words, always connecting with the exact same person all day — is different than positioning for short movie calls, and also different from multiperson ambient videos.

It may be wherever you hang — the kitchen, dining room or living room — and positioned to capture as much of the room as you can. An enjoyable thing for active friends to do is put up a laptop with a camera in the kitchen to get ambient video while making and eating dinner. One might be in Los Angeles in San Francisco and the other. However they can chitchat following work, then have a meal together.

With one-on-one chats, the ambient connection can and should be transferred around to wherever the users are. This is particularly true if one spouse is away on business. When you are in a cold small business hotel, it’s great to have an ambient relationship running that lets you really feel as though you’re at home.


Another fantastic option for ambient hangouts is Google+, which functions like Skype but provides you group video chat for up to 10 people at once at no cost. There’s no way to cover for Google+ — each one the choices are free.

You and the people you connect with will only desire a Google+ account. Google also recently announced that video will encourage HD, meaning that if you’ve got a good camera and a good Internet connection in your TV, notebook, computer, tablet computer or smartphone, your own chats will be high quality video.

To launch a hangout, just click the Hangouts button in Google+, then type in the name of the man or the group you are connecting with, then click the movie camera icon.

Google+ movie hangouts are amazingly flexible. For instance, you may create groups, known as circles, of people, which you might call Family, Extended Family, Coworkers or perhaps Ambient Hangout Individuals. Any given hangout can involve inviting any number of these circles into it. You can invite tens of thousands to the telephone and see who shows up first , although the limitation on real connections is 10.

As soon as you connect to a single person and maintain an ambient video relationship going, others you’ve invited can come and go as they please. It’s like having friends over in your house, while other friends drop in, coming and going throughout the day.

You might also invite or reinvite people following the hangout has been going on for some time. You can invite people to join via phone call. As an instance, let’s say you own a movie hangout moving, and through a conversation you’ve got a question that only Janet can answer. Simply invite Janet to the hangout with her phone number by clicking the “Insert phone” option. Janet doesn’t need a webcam or possibly a Google+ account to join the dialogue, although she will be audio only, and noticed by all parties on the hangout and vice versa.

A new house zone

If you are interested in this kind of group ambient video relationship and frequently will have guests dropping in suddenly, it’s a fantastic idea to have a special room or corner of the house for ambient movie calls. The ideal situation is to use a living room TV, which is likely pointed at couches in a high-traffic field of the house. That turns the component of your dwelling at which the neighboring video camera is pointing to a semipublic space, like a front porch.

Another bonus using Google+ surrounding video hangouts is that you may use the Events feature to program and schedule ambient hangouts, which is an excellent idea for celebrations, birthdays and the holidays. Use the Events option in the navigation bar.

A magical window

Perch is a clever iPad and iPhone app that’s designed expressly for ambient video links. It’s ideal for use with two iPads mounted on walls in two locations. You connect to each other using the Perch app, which turns the iPads into magical windows.

Perch does something quite cool that Skype and Google+ do not: It mutes the noise unless somebody is considering one of the iPads. If one user would like to talk to the other, he or she only looks at the iPad and talks, and the audio is switched on so both people are able to hear each other.

Whether you use these three free apps for creating surrounding video links — and if you use your TV, PC, notebook, tablet or smartphone — understand that ambient video is totally free and simple but requires a shift in perspective.

As soon as you’ve created that shift, but you can turn an electronic device you already own to a magical window that connects you to the people that you want to be connected with, like you were hanging out together.

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