Industry Week online Computerworld and Business Standard online have some new articles about telepresence – remote real-time, life-size conferencing. Businesses offering such systems include Teliris and Codian, Polycom, and Cisco Systems.
Business Standard cites the average price of a telepresence system to be around USD$300,000. With a little math you can see that such a system would pay for itself in saved travel expenses within a very short period of time. Although the videophone has been available since the early 1960’s it never saw adoption specifically because the use of the voice telephone interface allowed freedom of movement, appearance, and multitasking that is simply not possible when looking at a small screen.
What’s different now? The wall sized screens and bandwidth allow for a completely new experience.
Notice how the participants in the video call it “unsettling” and “hard to get used to”. On the plus side – it makes everyone look like a news anchor! These systems are big, clunky and expensive now – how soon until telepresence is small, convenient, and cheap?