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The Look and Feel of Telepresence, Part 1

Dec 13, 2007 12:00 PM, By Jessaca Gutierrez

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Part 2

Natural Audio

For telepresence systems, audio, second to the visual component, is the most important part of the meeting. It's what carries the meeting. “There is zero latency in the audio, so when one half of the room tells a joke the other half should laugh—appropriately. …So it should feel very natural,” Scroeder says.

In a blog post by Josh Bernoff, vice president and principal analyst at Forrestor Research, a technology and market research company, Bernoff described the system as persuasive: “The other thing I found interesting was this: Charlene made some suggestions about pieces of the book that would require significant rewriting and rethinking. All writers know the internal resistance that this provokes, and it's involuntary. On the phone, when this happens, I just "go along" and figure I'll prove her wrong later, or maybe come around to her point of view. But with telepresence, I found her much more persuasive (and harder to ignore). That is, look someone in the eye and if you're right, they can see it. Telepresence can be persuasive. This should be interesting to people who need to persuade: salespeople and managers, for example. (Politicians?)”

The Network Backbone

You can't talk telepresence without talking about network infrastructure needs. And once again we're seeing the common theme of convergence. As an integrator, it'll be your job to make sure the company's network is ready to meet the needs of a telepresence system. As mentioned earlier, for a system such as Cisco's, the network will need to be able to support anywhere from 5Mbps to 20Mpps—depending on the number of sites, screens, and pixels per screen—to output telepresence-quality communication.

In the part 2 of The Look and Feel Telepresence, we'll get additional insight from HP's Halo Chief Scientist Mark Gorzynski as well as the rate of use, costs, and where this technology is heading.

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