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Telepresence Can Disconnect

May 13, 2009 7:30 AM

Phil Edholm has been writing an extended blog about his concept of Communications Dimensions.

In his recent posting, Phil Edholm wrote that "telepresence systems have four distinct disadvantages; the cost of the base system, the cost of bandwidth and operation, the challenges to interoperability among vendors, and eye contact."

The first three are well understood, which is why telepresence solutions have become the executive jets of the board room.

But the last point exposed for me a key current limitation of these systems- even though they use HD full size video, the lack of eye contact creates a large barrier to effective interpersonal communications. In fact, my experience has been that a sense of lack of connectedness and aloofness is created when a remote speaker is talking to you with his eyes looking somewhere else.

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Deloitte has chosen Nortel as a global managed services provider for telepresence, video conferencing and associated multimedia services, across 130 sites globally. It's a big deal.

The business value of these capabilities includes lower travel cost, increased productivity and reduced carbon footprint. This value comes as much from the technology as it does from the service dimension.

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