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Google Fiber-Inspired SightDeck Brings Hollywood Effects To VC Pitches And Telepresence Meetings

January 14, 2013 | Telepresence Options

3004738-poster-sightdeck-1.jpgBy Ben Paynter

Part corporate meeting telepresence, part stand-alone film studio with baked in special effects, the system is backed by Kansas City, one of the first chosen for Google's Fiber project.

One of Kansas City's first city-backed ventures to capitalize on the speed of Google Fiber is set to officially launch next week. Fittingly, it's from a company that could help other entrepreneurs speed up how they pitch their own products.

SightDeck, a spinoff of Los Angeles-based tech company iMatte, provides HD telepresence with a lot of extra tricks. Not only does the system have the capacity to broadcast remote meetings, it can fuse them together using a drop screen and infrared technology that allows up to four attendees in different locations to appear in the same room and manipulate background graphics by touch, like a gigantic iPad.

For startups clustered around Google Fiber, the fact that it also functions as a stand-alone film studio with those baked-in special effects will be key. As a part of LaunchKC, the city's own incubator, SightDeck CEO Richard Welnowski had received free meeting room space inside the city's historic Union Station, the site of a proposed $2 million city-backed technology lab. He hopes to give other affiliated startups free access to tape their own VC pitches or product demos.

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