Have you heard about Telepresence? It has been around for a few years now and is gaining some traction with large corporates as an alternative way to conduct meetings without actually flying everyone around the world to meet in person.
The setup includes a bank of flat-panel display screens mounted on a boardroom table. This is duplicated in each location you want to conference. The effect is a ‘virtual’ boardroom style meeting. You are effectively sitting at the same table as your colleages or customers who may be anywhere in the world. For those who have used the old Videoconferencing systems I’m sure you will agree that we are now almost at the point where a video conference can replace the good old face to face meeting.
Technologies such as Telepresence really took off after the GFC, when controlling costs was paramount and any technology that could reduce the cost of flying executives around the world was worth considering. But while cost is the major deciding factor in implementing such a system, this interesting article from Cisco shows that there are many more benefits in using the technology such as faster decision making, enhancing trust between supplier and customer, greater work-life balance, and reducing confusion.
But it seems that it is a technology that has to be experienced to be appreciated. The article cites that while 90% of users believe it saves them at least 2 hours of productive work time each week, only 1/3 of users believed it would save them any time at all!
Cisco has also announced that Telepresence is not just limited to the corporate world as it is about to release a consumer-level version of the system for home use!
- UPDATE 2-Cisco to debut consumer gear, TelePresence expected (reuters.com)
- Cisco to announce high-def consumer telepresence device next week? (engadget.com)
- New Research Highlights Diverse Benefits of Telepresence (blogs.cisco.com)
- The EU Leads the World with the Most Advanced Communications Technology (prweb.com)