(Image from Bernard Leong)
I’ve experienced Cisco’s TelePresence technology and I must say, it’s pretty amazing.
I met up with bloggers Daniel Cerventus and James Yeang to test the TelePresence 3000, recently. It was all pretty informal, which is good; no major PR fuss, no jostling for front row seats or fighting over swag. They showed us to a room, sat us down and bang, we were looking across a table at people in Singapore just like they were sitting right in front of us.
The folks in Singapore were, in fact, sitting in a room much like ours. It was tastefully lit, had three 65-inch screens and chairs and a table.
But as we introduced ourselves and got to know a little about them, it felt more like our two rooms were magically linked together, rather than just a bunch of people talking to each other like they weren’t thousands of miles apart.
If you’re used to Skype or MSN video calls, just imagine what it would be like to be talking to someone far away yet be completely free of lags, audio clipping or just about any other annoyance that comes with modern video-conferencing. It’s not that I’m being paid to say this, but TelePresence is just that good. I’d love to have a look at their usability case studies because it’s wonderful how they made it so easy to use.
Of course, we ended up chatting long past our time limit, but hey, it’s not every day you get to experience a bit of science fiction come to life, right?
While the cost and practical use may deter private ownership, I’d definitely recommend this sort of tech to companies as a way of improving communication between offices and cutting down travel costs. You’d probably end up saving a hell of a lot more with one of these babies in your HQ, where you can dial in and ‘meet up’ with your counterparts practically every day, instead of wasting money flying people all over the place for short business trips, all year round.
You can find out more about what Cisco does on their blog.