What is Telepresence?
Telepresence is the experience of being present in an immersive video communications experience that allows you to meet with global participants as if you're sitting in the same room. Telepresence allows people to use technology to meet across distances with the same realism and interaction as an in-person meeting. Users should feel as if they are literally across the table from one another. True Telepresence should meet requirements to make this possible. This includes:
- Cameras aligned with the eyes of the remote person(s). This enables the user on either end of the screen to be looking directly at the person(s) at the remote end, as it would be in a face-to-face conversation. Older video conferencing systems often have cameras mounted at the top of displays, therefore people appear to look down and eye contact is not made.
- A lifesize image with the ability to see shoulders, arm movements and upper body gestures. Research shows around 80% of communication is non verbal and therefore it is essential that video communication technology transmits as much of this non verbal communication as possible. For desktop telepresence, downsizing to 70% of lifesize should be the maximum reduction.
- Very high quality images. This should be high definition at high resolution to make the image quality as seamless as possible.
- Very high audio quality. The high quality of audio is paramount to any conference. If you remove video, yconferences can be held at a compromise, but remove audio and almost all conferences will not take place. Sounds should be crisp, clean and non distorted. In Immersive Telepresence suites, microphones, speakers and acoustics may even map the sound locations in a room and transmit sound accordingly.
- Distance from screen as though the remote end is sat across the table. A person should be at desk height and in Telepresence suites, a room maybe installed at either end of the conference that mirrors the desk, colours and room style.
Is it complicated?
Traditional approaches to telepresence require fixed product configurations and specific room sizes and layouts making it difficult and costly to deploy beyond select high-end rooms. This is still often the case for Immersive Telepresence suites, although the design, networking and systems can all be organised by a knowledgable integrator such as VideoCentric. There are now smaller room solutions and desktop systems that make telepresence easy to deploy to more conference rooms enabling more users to benefit from the highly engaging and effective telepresence experience. Many Telepresence systems are now out of the box solutions with set up times of just 15 minutes. See Cisco MX200 and click on the Video Tab for an example.
Is it expensive?
Telepresence suites have been cost prohibitive, limiting their deployment primarily to the executive board room. With new room and desktop telepresence solutions on the market and the decrease in costs of telepresenc systems, there are now available solutions that will meet any budget wanting to deploy telepresence into their organisation.
How do I achieve it?
VideoCentric are independent solution integrators with some of the UK's most experienced sales and technical team. We are accredited by all the worlds major manufacturers and therefore offer an unbias view as to which solutions would best suit the requirements and needs of our customers. If you would like to discuss your requirements and find a range of solutions suitable for your organisation, please contact VideoCentric.