Feb 24, 2010

Telepresence, Video Conferencing and Distance Education

I've come across more news about telepresence and video conferencing lately. The technology is getting better, and businesses are finding that this provides a great way to save money and time.

Here are some videos and pictures from the Telepresence Options Network about ways large displays are used in a variety of settings.

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Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Tata Communications are installing telepresence meeting suites in a variety of settings.  Public rooms can connect with public rooms anywhere, any time.

For more information, see the Tata Communications website.

Polycom Touch Control Provides Unprecedented Telepresence Ease of Use

Here is an excerpt from the promotional materials:
"Providing a user experience similar to industry-leading mobile devices (like smart phones, mp3 players, etc.), the Polycom Touch Control's seven-inch color screen allows casual and power users to easily navigate key functions from basic dialing and content sharing, to advanced features using finger gestures to touch and slide universally recognizable icons and navigate intuitive arrows and tabs. The graphical interface makes it easy for users to locate contacts and dial video calls using a corporate directory, local address book, or presence-enabled contact list. The Polycom Touch Control also makes it easy for anyone (even visitors without network access) to share content during a video call or to present content using the room's audio/visual systems during a non-video meeting.  Multiple content sharing methods are available with Touch Control to allow users to quickly and easily share content using the integrated USB ports."

Polycom Delivers Breakthrough Video Quality Innovation that Cuts Telepresence Bandwidth Requirements in Half
"Through coding efficiency innovations, Polycom's support for H.264 High Profile will deliver breakthrough video performance at any bandwidth, including full-motion HD video quality starting at just 512 kbps, and full-motion DVD-quality SD video starting as low as 128 kbps."
Polycom: Immersive Telepresence
Polycom: Room Telepresence
Polycom: Personal Telepresence

The Human Productivity Lab is hosting the Inter-Company Telepresence and Videoconferencing Conference and Working group on Thursday, April 22, 2010, in Reston, Virginia.

Whitepaper:  Telepresence, Effective Visual Collaboration and the Future of Global Business at the Speed of Light (Howard S. Lichtman)

Other telepresence companies:

Informata Communications
Verizon Video Conferencing
Nortel Telepresence
TelePresence Tech (2D and 3D Telepresence)
LifeSize (logitech)
BT Conferencing
Hai Vision, Hai Vision Education
OGCP Telepresence

Several high schools in my school district have distance learning sites. I noticed that Polycom video encoders are part of the package. The following is information from the UCPS Distance & Online Learning website:

"In Union County Public Schools, distance learning students are located in traditional classrooms throughout the district's high school distance learning sites, connected via conferencing to a teacher and students located in a distant classroom (the host/sending site).
Our distance learning labs feature modern Polycom equipment designed to enhance students' learning experiences. Our distance learning classrooms include:

3-42" NEC plasma displays, 1serving as a rear monitor
Polycom video encoder
2 PowerCam cameras
LCD Projector
Digital presenter/document camera
DVD/VHS combo device
two-way audio microphones
Internet access and network support

I'll share more about this topic in future posts.

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