Video chat is a useful tool, but it’s also a system many of us have problems with. As great as it can be to catch up face-to-face, being seen virtually can introduce stress. This issue tends to build over time thanks to Zoom fatigue, which relates to various psychological challenges we experience while staring at ourselves and others.
Fortunately, modern entertainment, communication, and work systems are beginning to face the challenges of face-to-face video contact. The hope is that new approaches can reshape your face to reduce stress for work or just for more fun, and the technology is already here.
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Set a Realistic Example
Some of the most impressive implementations of new video chat technology come from the world of deepfakes. As ExpressVPN shows, this encompasses a range of technology that allows everything from creating completely fake images to replacing faces with new digital models. These replacements can be placed over a user’s in video chat, reducing the stress associated with constantly being seen.
Though deepfakes are currently too demanding to do properly in real-time, their technology is constantly improving alongside more powerful devices. While the idea of deepfakes can be tricky, it also holds immense positive potential in many areas, especially in work for the more introverted populace.
Using deepfakes as a tool in live chat could also be used to skip your daily routine for work-from-home scenarios. Instead of having to go through putting on makeup and dressing professionally for a meeting, it could be possible to simply record a scan of yourself when you’re done up.
When in a video stream, the professional you could be placed over the relaxed you, helping keep you comfortable and adding another layer of convenience to the work-from-home environment.
Simple Work Implementation
The basic forms of face replacement are already here with programs like Microsoft Teams. Techcommunity has noted that avatar systems have succeeded in public previews, letting people customize their appearance to their choice.
Using advanced face detection, these avatars can relay the same facial expressions you do while reducing the stress of physically appearing directly. You can still look like yourself, just an animated version of yourself.
The Necessity of Change
The need for face-replacement tech has grown in the last few years thanks to a boom in remote work. According to a survey from Buffer, 98% of remote workers responded that they would like to continue some degree of remote work for the rest of their careers. 68% of respondents claimed their experience working remotely was very positive, and 98% said they would recommend this form of work to others.
Traditionalists might overlook the importance of remote work appreciation, but stats from the University of Oxford also show that happier workers are 13% more productive. Working from home doesn’t just keep workers happy in their jobs. It also reduces commute time and cost and presents less travel pollution.
It can require an adjustment period, and elements like meetings can still require face-to-face communication, but this is where solutions to the stress problem arise.
Brought to the mainstream also in the 2020s, what’s now termed Zoom fatigue revolves around the exhaustion humans feel on video chats. According to Stanford researchers, there are four main reasons for this fatigue:
- Excessive close-up eye contact is intense
- Constantly seeing yourself is exhausting
- Video chat limits mobility
- Cognitive load is higher in video chats
Though systems like face replacements aren’t perfect solutions to all these components, being artificial can at least lighten the load. With avatars and face replacements, the brain realizes it’s not you up there on the screen, and you’re not looking into other human eyes. With the addition of a fake voice, users with any discomfort in appearing directly can find a way to engage.
As for how long it could be before these new solutions are implemented, that depends on the business. More progressive operations might be willing to get ahead of the curve, but the more significant industry will likely want others to test the waters before taking a leap. At least remote workers can rest confident that changes are inevitable, even if they take some time.