One of the most incredible inventions I've ever come across is the web cam and its process of video conferencing. This is just so futuristic I can't believe they really exist and are readily available to anyone with the Internet, speakers, and the right software. I'm not absolutely sure but doesn't this spell the end of telephones? Now we can have conversations with people on the other side of the world, and see their face moving as we hear them speaking live.
Picture this: You're an Antarctic explorer on a solo journey in the middle of the ice and snow on your way to the South Pole. The only living creatures around are the slippery penguins sliding around having fun. You're in your special tent keeping safe from the intense wind from the blizzard outside. As you boil up water on your portable stove you flip open your laptop (with battery recharger, broadband Internet, and in-built speakers) and connect with your family back in Russia. You can see their smiles as you hear them speak. What a magical connection!
Another great aspect of video conferencing is the fact that you can communicate with whole groups of people at once either through networking a group of computers or by form of broadcast. This is a huge step forward for both companies and for schools. I've heard corporations have saved a lot of money and time, and students are enjoying learning this way much more than from a textbook. Informed people can talk to classes and help them learn, where otherwise they wouldn't be able to because of time and distance restrictions. This is also a bonus for children who have different learning styles. E.G. The more visual types who understand better when they can see what they're working with.
Feasibly, a surgeon in Japan could watch an operation in Australia and even ask the doctor in progress questions about procedures. It's obvious that video conferencing will both help humans evolve further through the sharing of knowledge as well as keep loved ones more connected when they are far from home.
A lot of people who are either fascinated or obsessed with sex will also tell you about the benefits of this technology for their voyeuristic purposes, but I'm not going to go there. Science Fiction has once again turned to reality, and I hope we can truly make the most of this invention created by humans who wish to make society a better place.