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Videoconferencing In the Future Might Look Like This

October 29, 2012 | Telepresence Options
By Daniel James,
This office system lets people "turn" to face you in meetings, even though they're no in the same room. See the video.

One of the applications the NBN will potentially benefit is videoconferencing, so it's with interest that we spotted this photo showing how videoconferencing might look in the future.
The system you see in the photo tries to copy the effect of someone in a meeting turning their head to look at you, though in this case they are not in the same room, or even the same state or country.

The "MM-Space" system is from Japan-based NTT and uses projectors and thin, semitransparent screens in place of the usual LCD or plasma panels.
The angle of  each screen (up/down and left/right) automatically moves when the person's head moves, making the virtual person's presence seem more lifelike.
The system also removes the background from the images of the participants. Combined with the semitransparent displays, this heightens the impression of being in the same place without going to the length of having matching decor as used by some videoconferencing systems. We suppose it also prevents hide the fact you are working at home or in dingy premises.
So-called 'room based systems' - which provide an illusion of sitting across the table from remote participants - are still the preserve of big organisations due to their cost.
At what stage the technology will be affordable enough for widespread small business use remains to be seen, but this could be a preview of how we'll be videoconferencing in the not so distant future.

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