Designing Telepresence Spaces

March 31, 2009

A short definition of “telepresence” for the uninitiated: It’s the closest thing to virtual reality for business meetings and distance learning (or “videoconferencing on steroids and acid,” depending on the age of the audience).


A more formal definition: It’s a visual collaboration environment that addresses the human factors of participants, and attempts to replicate, as closely as possible, an in-person experience.


Telepresence spaces are rooms, installations, and “experiences” built by companies like Cisco Systems Inc., Digital Video Enterprises, Musion, Polycom, TelePresence Tech, and Teliris, and are connected in real time to a similar site somewhere else in the world, where the remote participants are life-sized with fluid motion, accurate flesh tones, and superb acoustics. The result is an experience that feels like you’re sitting in the same room with someone on the other side of the globe, or watching a life-sized version of someone on stage.


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