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This Minority Report tech is here to make video conferences suck less

October 8, 2018 | Telepresence Options

Minority_Report.jpg

Story and images by Wired

Humans are social animals. But the inventor of the futuristic computer display in Tom Cruise's Minority Report believes he's fixed video calls.

Beep, beep, beep. The alarm is a tad annoying, but Tara Foster doesn't mind. She's got a day of meetings ahead of her - and a few hours by plane to get there. "I'm everywhere," the 38-year-old social media marketer-slash-TV producer says. "I live in Sydney, now I am in Ireland, a few weeks ago I was in Switzerland, and before that in the Netherlands. Last year I went around the world three times."

All this travel just to sit down with a bunch of people - her clients - and help them tell their stories on social media. It's all talk, talk, talk though - so why fly around, wasting money, causing pollution, and enduring hours in noise-cancelling headphones munching bland airplane food, if you can just make a video call?

Gone are the days of dodgy connections, lag and pixilated videos. But, for some reason, video conferencing still hasn't put an end to seemingly needless, time-consuming and environmentally ruinous business travel. It's not for the lack of modern video conferencing tools, says Eric Yuan, the founder of one company working in the sector, California-based Zoom. "But no matter how great the online video conferencing experience is, you still can't give your remote attendees a hug or handshake or buy them dinner."

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