Cisco Telepresence: Pretty Spooky…

A while back I had my first experience using a Cisco Telepresence system (3000), and I thought that I would share some thoughts.

My overall impression is that it is pretty spooky (at least the first time you use it). Sat there ‘across' the Telepresence virtual meeting room from people who are on the other side of the world, you can almost believe that they really are just across the room.

This impression is obviously completely different from older, less sophisticated video conferencing units that sometimes give the impression that other participants are located in another universe, and are perhaps members of an alien species.

The Telepresence experience is so much better because of the ultra high definition video and ‘spatial' audio, together with the carefully designed layout of the rooms.

The high-end system that I used costs a mere $300,000 (Telepresence 3000). For certain companies and organizations this system will actually be a cost saver - both in terms of air fares saved, and probably more importantly due to the fact that major revenue generating employees can remain productive rather than being unproductive while transiting through airports, sitting in airplanes, and checking into hotels. Cisco also has a number of other Telepresence models including Telepresence 500, 1000, and 3200, but I am not sure how much these cost.

A fellow participant took a quick photo on a cell phone during the Telepresence conference. Here's that photo, but it doesn't do justice to the system, so here's another picture that it is better, but probably still doesn't do the system justice. There's only one way to really understand how good these systems are, and that's to have a go with one - perhaps Cisco will have one or two at the next Cisco Live event.

Anyway, next time I'll be back to talking about IPsec troubleshooting, but in a future post I'll take a look at integrating a Telepresence system into your Cisco UCM architecture.

Mark

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