For many, many years it seemed video calls would remain in the realm of TV and film for the general public, and a strictly niche business tool.
Though the technology has been around for almost a century - the first public video telephone service, Germany's Gegensehn-Fernsprechanlagen, was developed by Dr Georg Schubert in early 1936 - take-up by the general population has been fringe, at best.
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Cue the rapid spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus and the best strategy to break its transmission - social distancing - and the most accessible and personable means of maintaining lines of communication suddenly became an everyday experience.
From 10 million daily participants five months ago, Zoom now has more than 300 million daily participants attending a meeting held on its service. Those numbers include people who join multiple Zoom meetings during the same day, something that has been happening more in recent months.
As a result, The Associated Press reports Zoom Video Communications has emerged as the latest internet darling, as millions dial into its conferencing service to see colleagues, friends and family while at home during the pandemic.
Tuesday's release of the once-obscure company's financial results for the February-April period provided a window into the astronomical growth that has turned it into a Wall Street star.
Zoom's revenue for its fiscal first-quarter more than doubled from the same time last year to US$328 million, (NZ$511m) resulting in a profit of $27 million — up from just $198,000 a year ago.
The numbers exceeded analysts' already heightened expectations, providing another lift to a rocketing stock that has more than tripled in price so far this year, while the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index has fallen 5 per cent.
Though estimated by Datanyze to have 36.67 per cent of the market share, Zoom has competitors, particularly in GoToWebinar (22.66 per cent) and Cisco Webex (12.27 per cent).
In 2026, the video-conferencing market is expected to be valued at almost $10 billion, according to Fortune Business Insights.
The fallout from the Covid-19 coronavirus has changed our world in ways we once only imagined, but has our communication changed forever, or will we return to voice calls, texts and emails once the threat of this pandemic is over?
After a big run-up leading up to Tuesday's highly anticipated financial announcement, Zoom's stock initially rose even higher in extended trading. But it then abruptly reversed course and fell more than 3 per cent after company executives acknowledged during a video (naturally) discussion that some of its newfound users might depart during the second half of the year if health worries caused by the novel coronavirus dissipate.
There are distinct disadvantages to video calls over face-time, especially audio latency where delays in spoken words lead to stilted conversations. Only robust internet connections can deliver smooth calls without drop-out or screen freeze.
But, with the emerging Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLED) technology allowing screens to be flexible and even rollable, it could be more essential than ever to "watch this space". It may be the boss calling.