video conferencing has come a very long way since its original creation. Ever since the invention of the television it has been possible to establish a connection to enable audio visual conferencing by connecting two closed-circuit television systems. But the difference between the first instances of remote communication involving a visual element, and the status of such communication today, is quite remarkable. In fact, it reflects the amazing progress of science and technology as a whole over the past century. Now, though, it seems that conferencing has just taken an additional step forward: we have stepped out of a somewhat two dimensional world – whereby people can be linked as if via a phone line, but with a visual element as something of a bonus – into a conferencing world that goes by the name of ‘telepresence’. Telepresence video conferencing is the next stage in business communications. Why?
First of all, let us look back at that two dimensional world of audio visual conferencing that we knew so well before telepresence. Why is it describable as ‘two dimensional’? If you have ever used a web cam to communicate with somebody, via Skype, for example, then you will see that not every individual web cam user has the capability of placing their web cam at a point that is close enough to their monitor to appear to be looking into their web cam.
The result of this is that the feeling of talking to somebody ‘in person’ is completely lost. It is impossible to accurately simulate making eye contact, because you must look away from your web cam to look at the eyes of the person you are speaking to. And this applies even in a one-to-one conversation. You can imagine, then, how hard it must be to establish a feeling of ‘really being there’ when it comes to holding a conference with any number of colleagues and associates present.
Telepresence video conferencing involves a series of technologies that are designed to confront these problems. All of the technology available is used to craft a sophisticated simulation of presence, such that it feels like you are actually in a room with associates who could in fact be half way around the earth. As such, telepresence represents the next step forward in audio visual conferencing. While once it seemed a miracle of technology that video conferencing was possible, the earlier systems now look out-dated in the face of telepresence.
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