Telepresence: The Experience of Natural Interactions


The 1996 hit movie Jerry Maguire, starring Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger, has long since reached cult status. Memorable quotes from the movie have become an integral part of day to day language. One quote that has entered the public lexicon is “show me the money!”

Nowadays, Telepresence is “showing the money” in the corporate world. It has enabled corporate giants to cut down on spending by delivering a reliable, advanced and immersive tool for remote conferencing.

By using Telepresence, large companies are saving money on travel costs while at the same time bringing together employees from around the globe. In an article dated the 16th of May 2012, the Forbes website quoted a Fortune 500 executive who said: “Every dollar that we have invested in Telepresence, the company saved four times that on return in travel cost avoidance”.

Telepresence also helps companies reach better and faster decisions thereby allowing them to react to changes in the market in real time. It has also been shown to increase the level of cooperation and creativity within the company. According to Forbes, Telepresence is so effective it even reduces the time to market for new products.

The question is- why?

It would appear that the impact Telepresence has on companies is a result of its immersive user experience. When using Telepresence, people located on opposite ends of the world feel as if they are sitting side by side in the same conference room. This experience is made possible by quality video and audio, but also by camera angles that enable the user to read the expressions of their counterpart.

Telepresence works because it allows the users to interact naturally, even at a distance.

In addition, Telepresence is a flexible product that can be used in different settings. It can be deployed in conference rooms when large teams come together to discuss a shared project as well as on a laptop for one-on-one conference calls. And while Telepresence could even be used on smartphones, one has to bear in mind that the smaller the device, the less immersive the experience.

As it continues to develop, Telepresence is destined to offer additional tools for increased remote collaboration such as high quality content sharing, point and highlight capabilities and even the ability to drag content from one screen to another.

However, there are two main obstacles that stand in the way of the continued growth of Telepresence. The first is that the service needs to be compatible with a growing array of devices and hardware such as smartphones, tablets and other personal devices. The second is that Telepresence relies on the size of its community of users. So, until it is adopted by a large share of the market, it will remain an innovative yet limited means of communication.

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