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NATO uses new, green technology to facilitate long-distance collaboration

April 9, 2009 | Chris Payatagool
polycom_160x87px.jpgOn 6 April, the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) General Manager Dag Wilhelmsen unveiled a new capability that will facilitate long-distance collaboration - high definition Virtual Meeting Rooms. This is the first permanent use of this collaborative tool in NATO.

The capability allows for far superior meetings than over a traditional or even high definition Video teleconference (VTC). The technology provides life size imaging of conferences being presented with high quality surround sound providing the feeling of a near single virtual conference environment as possible, without actually being in the same room. It also provides a content development and sharing environment which will facilitate teamwork.

Bridging distance

"True to our mandate, we are pioneering the use of this technology in the Alliance," said Paul Ballinger, NC3A Director of Resources, "NATO is looking at deploying this type of technology throughout the Alliance and this allows us to test explore the value and effectiveness of the capability, while contributing to improved collaboration and project delivery in our Agency at the same time."

The Agency is operates across two locations, Brussels and The Hague, and has field offices in the US, Afghanistan and Norway, making the need for cost-effective long-distance teamwork a priority.

The capability will allow for a reduction in travel, reducing the Agency's CO2 footprint.

The NC3A's sister Agency, the NATO Communication and Information Systems Services Agency has piloted the technology to connect families of troops with soldiers in Afghanistan.

Life-like interaction

The new capability allows for the nuances in facial expressions and other non-verbal communications to be clear to all viewers participating in the meeting taking place in a well-lit acoustically-dead air conditioned dedicated custom-fitted rooms designed to support 6 participants on each side.

The NC3A is responsible for NATO through the seamless provision of unbiased scientific support and common funded acquisition of Consultation, Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities.
 
[via nato.int]








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