The speaker`s right, the first direct observation of an extra-solar planet, rather than by inference, even if it`s not like Earth, will revolutionize astronomy, science, and our culture generally.
It`s great advantage over the transiting methods is that it allows astronomers to see the solar systems when the planets are not aligned to cross the star`s face.
The next great challenge would be a spectroscopic analysis of the chemical composition of the planet`s atmosphere. If there`s oxygen there, we`ve found life.
This would be a revolution in human history.