The Future of Telepresence Only Offers Promise
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor, TMCnet News
Telepresence is an important focus for companies trying to push productivity in a global marketplace. The challenge is that telepresence can actually have the opposite effect if it is done incorrectly.
In fact, according to Bob McCandless, CEO of BrightCom – an integrated telepresence and videoconferencing solutions – best practices in the telepresence environment are created through a combination of technology with an interior design approach.
In a recent podcast, McCandless focused on the flexibility of telepresence in a business setting and the future of telepresence environments for business. To accomplish business objectives in the next five to ten years, how will businesses experience both the room and the technologies to make this happen?
McCandless noted that today’s screens are limiting, although BrightCom offers custom built screens that companies can design according to their environment. The challenge is when the business tries to implement the screen into a non-telepresence or non-matching environment. The result can be a poor experience for all involved. Brightcom is working to overcome this.
“At Brightcom, we have a technology we call multi-monitor management that allows us to really embrace [the experience] whether it is going down to a two screen or three screen system without going through an MCU, we can actually in real-time set those screens up to the best of their ability,” said McCandless.
He went on to note that BrightCom can embrace those screen environments as part of the company’s products to deliver a better overall experience. In the future, companies will be able to go to one larger screen that is the equivalent of four or five screens. This advancement in screen technology will have dramatic consequences for the telepresence experience.
With the advancement of telepresence environments, one of the things McCandless and others in the industry have noticed is the videoconferencing and telepresence revolution is much like the beginning of the cellular phone revolution – remember the bag phones that were expensive and rarely used? Now, it is more uncommon for someone to not have a cell phone.
“We will see the same thing with video,” said McCandless. “Where it will become expected in our everyday lives, everywhere we go, every office we go to, every house we go to…video will be an expected piece of our lives.
The technology that it takes to drive that is growing very rapidly and a lot of the considerations around ergonomics and how do we deploy these technologies is where some of that interior design and really standard ideologies around building interactive public spaces will become an increasingly important part of the telepresence experience,” McCandless added.
In all, the future of telepresence is very exciting as the continuous innovations will only improve the experience of all telepresence participants, driving collaboration and productivity without geographic borders.