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Cisco's Virtual Meeting Solution... TelePresence

Techstination feature for Wednesday, November 1, 2006

It is called TelePresence. A new way to hold virtual meetings. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. It's not quite beaming someone up a la Star Trek….but Cisco Systems is out with a new super high end video conferencing set up that it calls TelePresence. It uses high definition cameras and screens in a conference room setting. Cisco's chief development officer Charles Giancarlo…

"Simply stated, what TelePresence is is a virtual meeting environment. You go to what looks like a normal conference room, you sit down at a table, a normal conference table, with a dozen people at the table, the big difference with TelePresence is half of those participants are in a different city somewhere else in the world. And it appears as if they're actually sitting there and interacting with you at the table."

Ready for the price….about three hundred thousand dollars…with the conference room furnishings and three high definition screens. A smaller…one screen version sells for about 80 thousand. But Giancarlo says the technology will migrate down to consumer pricepoints…in 3 to 5 years….

"I'm assuming that, when I say in 3 to 5 years that this will start to go in the consumer market, plasmas today, whether it's plasmas or LCDs are going into the consumer market. In 3 to 5 years that will be common. So already a very large part of the solution will already be in place. Their TV sets will be part of the solution. And then what we will add will be the TelePresence technology, which is audio and real time video going in both directions which will be several thousand dollars more."

For now…you can stick to your Web cam and instant messenger. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.