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The Future of Telepresence: Better Than Being There

November 15, 2007 | Chris Payatagool

This week we are going to look at the future of HD video conferencing, how it will become telepresence, and a cross section of folks who are in a position to bring that future about. Let's start with what I think is slowing the progress.

Conventional Thinking

One of the difficulties with using a new technology is that we think in terms of what came before and the solutions seem to look a lot like those earlier offerings. The first cars were called horseless carriages for a reason; that's what they looked like. Over time, though they still have features in common (dimensions and number of wheels, for instance) with carriages, they became cars.

With telepresence we aren't yet thinking creatively. Right now, it is the creation of a big pipe between two points that you push a lot of data through in order to maintain a high level of reality. If we could, with this thinking, we would use mirrors and a light pipe to basically extend a window into the other location. But, in a real conference, reality is actually a disadvantage.

People from different regions and countries have different ways of dressing, different mannerisms, and different languages. These are obstacles that can be overcome with the intermediate step that telepresence provides, but are practically impossible to address in person. In other words, the market has been so focused on trying to address the disadvantages associated with telepresence it has failed to focus on the advantages.

[via ITBusinessEdge]

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