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Is virtual the future of the court system?

Many aspects of life are going virtual for sheer convenience. Too many people miss court hearings because of the time it can take out of their day. They have to miss work to drive down to the courthouse, play the waiting game for their hearing to begin, and drive home. It can be an all-day affair.

Thanks to modern video conferencing tools, going virtual is a real possibility. Court systems everywhere are starting to explore how cameras can be used to conduct hearings and other aspects of court virtually.

Although virtual hearings have been around for years, new technology is providing a solution to some of the different problems courtrooms have faced.

Encryption Inside of Video Conferencing Cameras

Not all cameras are created equally. Court hearings may or may not be private. It’s possible to use cameras with Point-to-Point Video Calling Encryption when working with sensitive and personal information – such as what’s found in courtrooms.

While many cities allow hearings to be open to the public, certain circumstances legally require confidentiality. This is when it is critical to have encryption in place. It keeps those inside the courtroom protected from prying eyes.

The moment a live feed starts, security is essential, and when video conferencing is used in the courtroom, encryption is a necessity. Many software programs like Zoom and Teams don’t offer point-to-point encryption. That means that the conversations can be accessed by anyone with basic hacking capabilities.

End-to-end encryption is going to be more effective than TLS and UDP connections. You need more than a secure HTTPS website – and this is where the Lifesize brand of cameras can make a difference.

How the Lifesize Cameras Work Effectively

Lifesize is a brand of video conferencing equipment that has been gaining popularity because of its advanced technology. It has been rated best-in-class for audio, video, and content-sharing quality. Using professional cameras and phone systems, Lifesize demonstrates how it is possible to turn any meeting into a virtual meeting.

The brand specializes in plug-and-play setup along with intuitive controls to offer an unparalleled user experience.

Combine the hardware with video conferencing apps like Skype, Zoom, and Webex, and courtrooms everywhere can easily become virtual. It allows those who must attend the hearing to show up virtually. It also allows the judge and the necessary courtroom personnel to be seen and heard. Cameras and microphones can be connected to ensure everyone can see and hear everyone involved. This ensures that the hearing is capable of going forward legally and without any tech glitches. 

Choosing the Right Cameras

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The right equipment makes a difference inside of courtrooms. It is not possible to choose just any camera for the job. Unlike standard security cameras, high-level cameras can have several features.

Particularly within a courtroom setting, it is critical to have cameras that will provide a full view of what is going on.

Fisheye cameras can be used to show all angles of a courtroom using a single camera. As the footage is recorded, the video is converted to four standard videos. This makes it possible to be viewed from a computer monitor or a mobile device. The added benefit of this technology is that there is no need to install the software. Live view, motion detection, and more are additional features available.

To ensure that the courtroom hearings are recorded for future use, network or direct-attached storage can be used. It makes it easier to have a backup of a hearing – which is more comprehensive than having a transcript from the court recorder.

Additionally, it is possible for courtrooms to benefit from pan-tilt-zoom cameras. Depending on the type of case being heard in the room, the camera can be moved and refocused to learn more about an exhibit, get a closeup on a witness, and more. Some of the advanced cameras have an impressive optical zoom, making it easier to see smaller objects in great detail.

How Tech Can Overcome Problems in the Courtrooms

Throughout the pandemic, technology has given many courtrooms the push they have needed to go virtual. While some courts have been wary to move certain hearings to a virtual environment, many have had no choice but to keep moving through cases during Covid-19.

Even jury trials can be taken into a virtual setting. In order for the lawyers on both sides to see what’s going on, the courtrooms can use fisheye cameras. By using microphones on everyone who will be speaking, it ensures that audio will not cut in and out.

Travel and convenience are major grounds to go virtual. For many hearings, they only last 5 or 10 minutes – and when lawyers must jump across town or move into multiple courtrooms within the same building, it can be exhausting. With a virtual setting, they can represent their client while using a secure video conferencing setup within their office.

Thanks to the newest technologies in cameras and encryption, many jurisdictions are forced to redefine what a court is. It is no longer a place but a service. As long as a court is willing to go virtual, it opens up an array of new opportunities.

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