Friday, May 15, 2009


Maybe you are fortunate enough to work for a company that offer a telepresense room.  And if you do, you know what it does and love to hear what your experiences are like.

Basically, pretend you're the captain of a starship and you're sitting in your chair staring back at a Romulan, or regional VP, and you're just chatting about intergalactic matters.  But on Earth it's a conference room with very expensive video conferencing equipment, like Cisco.

According to CNN Money, a room like this can cost up to $150,000.  Can this catch on?  Well, with some business meetings and tasks, it's entirely doable and saves your executive staff from having to travel across the country or around the world just to have a face-to-face meeting.

By no means is telepresence setups going to replace delicate meetings that require that special personal interaction.  Steve Jobs' reality distortion field likely isn't going to be as effective as its been in person.

Nevertheless, Cisco and others are hoping this will ground some mobile corporate drones as they'll have to travel less.  Still $150K is a lot of money for just one room.  You get the equipment plus three or more large monitors for viewing. 

However, I see other uses for telepresence technology.  Games.  Video gamers would love just such a setup.  Imagine entertainment value of having a greater field of vision and cameras that track your the movement of your body.  Holodeck it is not but actually doing battle in first-person shooter with full range motions is entirely different from pressing buttons on keyboards.  And the be able to see your teammates and opponents on screen as events unfold will bring real life experience that much closer.

Another use is training.  And the range of training application can only be limited by the imagination of the course matters and instructors.  One-on-one or a professor giving a lecture to graduate students in another part of the world.  Pilots can be trained in this manner as well. 

What other uses can you think a telepresense room can be used for?  My hope is already pretty high for this.  As adoption continues, this will only drive the price down over time.  Wouldn't you want one in your home or office if it eventually becomes affordable?

Source:  CNN Money

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