December 17, 2012

Is it dead, that telepresence thing?

A short opinion piece by an opinionated person.

Wait, what is telepresence?

What is telepresence and why do people who call their products ‘telepresence’ keep chirping the new mantra that it is dead? I get that software systems were the big hub bub of 2012 and that actual telepresence products have had slowing sales. In this day and age, price is certainly more of a driving factor than experience.

It makes me wonder a few things. I wonder if those who denounce immersive systems, or call their product immersive, have ever been in an actual immersive telepresence meeting. Essentially for something to be immersive, it has to transform your state of mind. In a telepresence situation, that would mean to forget the person you’re talking to is not in the same room. For me that means people have to be life size, the video can’t be choppy and the audio must not suck.

It also makes me wonder why companies would call their product ‘immersive’ or ‘telepresence’ then turn right around and denounce the term.

I have a Toyota Rav4. It is a car or more appropriately a compact SUV. I don’t call it a race car. Because it’s not.

On a side note, it’s my opinion that competing companies should embrace each other as opposed to bad attempts to spite their competition. Eventually, hardware, software and ‘cloud’ (I’ll let the reader determine what that actually means) video conference products will all interoperate the same way my new Blackberry (don’t judge!) can call a 50 year old land line. If they don’t, they simply won’t exist for very long. We are all going to have to get along, may as well start doing it now.