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Understanding the Telepresence Marketplace - An Excerpt from Telepresence Options Magazine

May 23, 2011 | William Zimmerman
Today we continue publishing some excerpts from the inaugural edition of Telepresence Options Magazine. This second article is entitled "Understanding the Telepresence Marketplace?" and in the article, Telepresence Options Publisher Howard S. Lichtman explores the breadth of the telepresence marketplace from Telepresence Podiums to Group Systems to On-stage telepresence solutions.    You can subscribe to Telepresence Options Magazine @ to get a hard copy and get instant access to the digital edition to read the rest of the issue which features articles on: What is Telepresence?, The ROI of Telepresence and Visual Collaboration in a World of Economic and Geopolitical Uncertainty, Robotic Telepresence: A Primer & Tale of the Tape, and Creating Telepresence Environments: A Design Guide

Understanding the Telepresence Marketplace

What's just as mind-blowing as the technology behind telepresence? The width and breadth of the marketplace! Telepresence technologies extend beyond the familiar three-screen group systems. You can find them in retail kiosks, podiums, auditoriums and even on-stage experiences. Here's a tour through the major segments of the market, with a couple of specialty applications thrown in for good measure.

Types of Telepresence and Visual Collaboration Solution

Group Systems: With their ability to replicate traditional across-the-table business meetings for executive and project teams, group systems make up the overwhelming majority of the market. These multi-screen, multi-codec systems generally seat four to eight primary participants, though many providers can add a second tier of seating to the environment. Most group systems can make multiple sites visible simultaneously on separate screens, an ability we call telepresence multipoint. Telepresence group systems are broken out into two major categories:

These environments heighten the illusion of a shared physical space by precisely positioning participants. They may also match integrated lighting and acoustics as well as wall colors, furniture and architecture to ensure a unified look. The most realistic and immersive environments have large format seamless displays.

DVE Immersion Room.JPG
The DVE Immersion Room is a large-format seamless display environment with a 120-inch screen that hides the camera at eye-level and doubles as a visualization environment for content from CAD/CAM, PowerPoint and medical informatics, and/or video and can display up to nine foot volumetric images that appear to float in space.

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Teliris VirtuaLive uses SVC to traverse bumpy networks. It's available as either an engineered environment that unifies the look and feel of each location or as a modular, stand-alone system installs with little make-ready.

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HP Halo Studio is an engineered environment that wraps up integrated collaborative tools like ceiling mounted visualizer and real-time video sharing, access to services including real time translation (150 languages) and a network optimized for video that connects to all the other Halo customers.

These group systems are free-standing and designed to fit into existing conference rooms with minimal make-ready. They have many of the same features found in engineered environments, and can be upgraded with optional environmental packages.

Providers / Solutions Include: AVI-SPL Cameleon, BrightCom Lumina, Cisco CTS 3010, Cisco T3, HP Meeting Room, Huawei TP 3106, LifeSize Conference, Magor HD Trio, Polycom OTX, Polymedia Telepresence Solution, TelePresence Tech TPT 4000, Teliris Express, Teliris VirtuaLive

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The AVI-SPL Cameleon is a modular group telepresence system that can be deployed with Polycom, LifeSize, or Cisco C 40 codecs. The system can be installed in one day and the control system can be configured to control everything from room lighting to collaborative peripherals.

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The Polycom OTX is a modular group system that offers an optional wall-back-wall for the look and feel of an engineered environment.

Telepresence classrooms and large group systems hold at least 18 primary participants. Many of the companies listed below can create custom solutions that seat more.

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The Polycom RPX 400 Series can seat up to 28 participants and make each of them visible on-screen. Its telepresence multipoint ability can connect five sites and display seven participants on the screen from each of four locations --a total capacity of 140 participants.

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The virtual lecture hall at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University features a custom-built integration of Cisco TelePresence. Its features include three 103-inch plasma displays, six 1080p cameras, an instructor's podium with two document cameras for content, three remote student displays for the instructor to view remote classrooms from the podium, and 66 custom push-to-talk microphones for interactive discussions. The system was built by systems integration partner IVCi.

Small group systems are typically limited to a single screen and are often telepresence display solutions that can utilize traditional videoconferencing cameras/codecs to improve the human factors and end user acceptance of existing videoconferencing deployments. Products such as the DVE Huddle 70 and the Telepresence Tech Eye-to-Eye Systems use a beam splitter, a piece of silvered glass that hides the camera at eye-level to deliver a more natural eye-contact experience.

DVE Huddle 70.JPG
The DVE Huddle 70 is a small-group telepresence display that can accept any camera/codec to improve the users' existing videoconferencing equipment. The system features a unique bezel-less display that hides the camera at eye-level.

Magor HD Duo.JPG
The Magor HD Duo offers sophisticated peer-to-peer collaboration capabilities, such as drag and drop sharing between computer desktops. The system also allows permitted users to see, control and edit shared files and documents in real time.

Videoconferencing systems include everything a user needs for visual communication. When set up the right way, they can create an effective telepresence experience. 

Providers / Solutions Include: AVerMedia AVerComm, Cisco Telepresence Profile Series, HaiVision MAKO- HD, LifeSize Express, LifeSize Team, LifeSize Room 220, Polycom HDX Series, Vidyo Room, Vu TelePresence Pro & Premier.

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Vu TelePresence offers a complete turnkey system for a small deposit and low monthly payments to flip CAPEX to OPEX. The Vu Premier is capable of 720p high definition video and can record and archive up to 1,500 hours of video or stream to hundreds of internet-connected PCs.

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The LifeSize Communications Room 220 System can display either high-definition 1080p 30fps or 720p 60fps video. It comes standard with an embedded eight-way Continuous Presence multipoint bridge showing four visible sites, complete with transcoding and all digital I/O.

Executive systems extend telepresence capabilities to an office or home office. Some offer features that hide the camera and align it for eye contact.

Providers/Solutions Include: Cisco Telepresence System 500, Cisco TelePresence System EX Series, Cisco TelePresence MXP Series, DVE Executive Telepresence System, DVE Eye-Contact Silhouette, HP Visual Collaboration Executive Desktop, LifeSize Communications LG Executive, Magor HD Solo, Polycom HDX 4000, TelePresence Tech TPT 22 Desktop, Teliris Nano Telepresence, Teliris Nano EX, Teliris Personal Telepresence, Vidyo Desktop.

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The Teliris Nano EX is a 41.5-inch panoramic display that extends the Teliris group telepresence environment to the desktop, allowing a complete view of remote participants.

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The HP Visual Collaboration Executive Desktop includes an HP TouchSmart PC with preloaded HP Visual Collaboration software powered by Vidyo SVC for traversing bumpy networks, an HD camera and a USB headset.

On-stage telepresence replicates a life-size person on a stage that can interact with an audience in real time from afar.

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The Musion Eyeliner foil has been used to create on-stage telepresence experiences linking together cities around the world. The technology has been used for events ranging from keynote speeches with floating augmented reality data to the projection of life-like virtual performers that interacted with Madonna at the Grammy Awards.

Telepresence podiums and lecterns let remote presenters appear life-size as if they were standing at a podium in a room. Most systems work with a variety of cameras and codecs.

Providers/Solutions Include: DVE Immersive Podium, DVE Telepresence Podium, TelePresence Tech TPT 1900 Lectern, Teliris InterACT Lectern.

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The DVE Immersive Podium uses the camera and codec of your choice to display a remote participant life-size. The system also enables floating data and other visuals.

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The Cisco HealthPresence pod has been trialed in Scotland with the Scottish Centre for TeleHealth to deliver care from "Shopping mall to hotels to post offices."

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MedPresence designed a specialty telepresence environment at Barrow Neurological Institute for surgical education that connects the operating room with an 18 seat Polycom 400 Series RPX.

Telepresence kiosks and retail solutions make sales representatives and customer service agents available around the world, proving personal and cost effective support.

Providers/Solutions Include: DVE 3D Product Sales Kiosk, TelePresence Tech 3-D HD Kiosk

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The TelePresence Tech 3-D HD Kiosk provides an eye-contact experience with a subject matter expert anywhere in the world. It can also display eye-catching graphics and branding that appear to float in mid-air. The system can be deployed in stand-up or sit-down environments and customized to your specifications.

Specialty Telepresence Environments

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DreamWorks Animation designed a specialty stand up telepresence environment for storyboarding and pitch meetings.

You can subscribe to Telepresence Options Magazine @ to get a hard copy and get instant access to the digital edition to read the rest of the issue which features articles on: What is Telepresence?, The ROI of Telepresence and Visual Collaboration in a World of Economic and Geopolitical Uncertainty, Robotic Telepresence: A Primer & Tale of the Tape, and Creating Telepresence Environments: A Design Guide

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