According to a whitepaper on the Teliris website, "Business Value of Telepresence", by S. Ann Earon, "Telepresence is what videoconferencing was meant to be: reliable, highly interactive, easy to operate, resulting in a natural meeting with transparent technology and an emphasis on human factors."
Teleris now offers something they call Immersive Collaboration, which involves the use of surface computing that supports document and multimedia content sharing across locations, as if all of the group members are in the same room
Watch the demonstration of the Teliris Collaboration Touch Table in a telepresence meeting. In the video clip below, the narrator shares content from a local Teliris Collaboration Touch Table to a remote meeting participant who is at another table.
"Touch to Telepresence"
DVE (Digital Video Enterprises) developed a Tele-Immersion room that uses Cristie Digital Systems Mirage HD 3D projectors to create holographic images of remotely located meeting participants:
DVE Telepresence: An Introduction (A plug from DVE, but informative.)
DVE Portable Virtual Presentation -A Volumetric 3D image from a projector hidden from the audience's view:
This system can display 3D images on the stage, and supports 2-way interactive HD feeds.
The above examples demonstrate how newer technologies, including table-top surfaces, can be used for collaborative business meetings. I can envision this technology used for medical education, medical consultations, and collaboration between artists and musicians.
When the price comes down, perhaps we will have these systems in our family rooms!