Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers and Al Gore spoke via telepresence technology in a keynote discussion presented at the VoiceCon conference in Orlando yesterday. As you can probably imagine, the topic was how telepresence can help the environment by allowing companies to hold virtual meetings, rather than sending employees back and forth on planet-choking plane rides.
It is a serious topic, of course, though with all the chatter about telepresence recently, it is kind of funny that companies are using some of the same language to promote it that they used many years ago when the industry was promoting videoconferencing. The telepresence experience is doubtless many times better than original videoconferencing technology. The end point is different, too, of course. Now, instead of saving travel dollars, the ultimate point is to save the environment. You can save travel expenses, too, but saying that is your main goal isn't nearly as fashionable. Also, the expense of a telepresence system probably will off-set some of the monetary savings for the short term anyway, so maybe you should stick with the environmental argument when you tell your own CEO about it.
- see this story at Network World
- Telepresence lures Tandberg and Polycom Article