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SXSW show floor: Beam videoconferencing device takes a spin

March 12, 2013 | Telepresence Options


Story and Images by Zach Miners / TechHive

Tech enthusiasts at South by Southwest Interactive exploring the exhibit hall's gizmos and apps on Sunday were greeted a little differently at one booth--the figure approaching them was not a person but a television-sized monitor mounted to a sleek base on wheels.

Standing roughly five feet tall, a 17-inch screen mounted to a two-wheel chassis base glided toward passersby to say hello and ask them if they had any questions.

Many did.

"Are you real?" one young wide-eyed attendee asked the device.

The product, called Beam and made by Menlo Park, Calif.-based Suitable Technologies, is real, though interacting with it may feel a little bizarre.

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