SVC on Twitter    SVC on Facebook    SVC on LinkedIn


The Look and Feel of Telepresence, Part 1

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

   Follow us on Twitter    

More On Telepresence
Part 2

What sparked Cisco to rethink the videoconferencing box? Schroeder says that because many of the developers responsible for creating Cisco's TelePresence system came out of the video industry, they knew what struggles needed to be laid to rest with traditional videoconferencing: difficulty of use and the unnaturalness of the system. The developers came up with a set of rules, called “The Rules of Telepresence,” that the system should ultimately fulfill. “They include things like: It has to have an extremely natural interface. The technology should not be obtrusive in any way. In fact, you should forget about the technology once you start using it,” Schroeder says. “You should have an immersive experience, meaning you actually feel like you are sitting around the room with participants who may be virtual or who may be there in person, so there should be no break whether you are there in person or not. You should be able to share items just as naturally as you would in a real meeting, whether that's a PowerPoint slide or a physical object. The first version of TelePresence introduced is built around meetings, but the meeting must feel and behave in a way that most meetings behave, so voice should come from where the voices are actually located around the table. You should all be life-size; you should feel like when the meeting starts it starts and when the meeting ends it ends, meaning essentially that you hit a button to start a meeting and hit a button to stop the meeting.”

Although the system was designed to be as natural and life-like as possible, Schroeder says that Cisco did add a function—at customer request—that isn't necessarily naturally present in an in-person meeting: mute. “What we find is that in a real meeting is that people can have sidebar conversations. And for applications like doing negotiations or something like that, there is a legitimate need to allow people to do a sidebar conversation privately,” she says. The team also added a hold function, which allow for short breaks for long meetings and prevent participants from having to disconnect the current session and dial back in when the meeting resumes. “All those things together are what the team built, and they called it ‘telepresence' because they didn't want people to think that it was the same as what people normally associate the term videoconferencing with.”

Acceptable Use Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus

Browse Back Issues
  January 2015 Sound & Video Contractor Cover December 2014 Sound & Video Contractor Cover November 2014 Sound & Video Contractor Cover October 2014 Sound & Video Contractor Cover September 2014 Sound & Video Contractor Cover August 2014 Sound & Video Contractor Cover  
January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014