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Fallacy of Telepresence When it Comes to Video Conferencing

May 22, 2012 | Hogan Keyser
May 22, 2012 by Simon Dudley via BizJournals.com -- In business conversations about video conferencing today, the term "telepresence" has somehow become synonymous with video conferencing altogether. That's not quite right.

Telepresence is another word for the notion of transparency in communications. When you sit in a telepresence room for a video conference, you are indeed seeing through the technology to be part of a meeting. Almost by definition, it is as though you are looking through a window. In that way, you have captured one of the most important parts of video conferencing: the technology has to give users a window to another place.

But that's not all that goes into the definition of video conferencing as a real business solution. Where telepresence as a synonym for video conferencing falls apart is that it ignores the other key requirements for a practical business solution--namely, that it has to be simple to use, scalable, and offer full features at an affordable price point.

If a business has to spend $300,000 on a telepresence room and even one key conference participant lacks that technology, that person can't be involved in the conference--and the investment is lost.

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