There are differences between telepresence and video conference technology, but the line can be fuzzy because telepresence is a form of videoconferencing and sometimes the terms are tossed around interchangeably.
Telepresence generally is referring to the higher-definition experience that more advanced technology provides. The pictures are clearer, you see the people in the conference and hear them almost exactly as if they were in the room–if you both have the same level of technology. It is similar to the difference between an old-school analog television signal and the high-definition digital signals used in television today: a TV show from twenty years ago is not going to be high definition because it is not recorded in high definition and an HD show from today will not show as high definition on a television set incapable of showing HD.
When video conference rooms and telepresence rooms are in the same videoconference, those in the video conference room will see the best video available on that equipment. Likewise, those in the telepresence room will see a lesser-quality video feed on their high-definition screen. As long as they can receive each other’s tech information, they can communicate, but it will be on the level of technology each brings to the table.
WhyGo has both video conferencing and telepresence facilities on its extensive network. With our conferencing software, scheduling is easy. You can look at the rooms available, see exactly what will be provided, and ask a conferencing advisor if you aren’t sure they will be compatible. The differences between these two forms of video conference technology are real, but they will not keep you from experiencing good remote collaboration with your colleagues.
Top-of-the-line video conferencing at Telepresence Facilities
Whygo’s Telepresence Facilities offer the highest-end technology and care to ensure the best video conferencing experience possible. With a multitude of locations across the globe, these facilities are simply the best choice for video conferencing available.
The facilities boast high-definition video quality and screens, studio quality acoustics and rooms designed completely for video conferencing convenience and luxury. From the tables to the screen and the air conditioning, Telepresence Facilities can perfectly mimic even the best conference room experiences.
It’s easy to get set up. Look no further than the Telepresence Facilities booking system to find an extensive list of every location WhyGo has to offer. There are over 50 locations in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania where you can set up a conference. You can even book multiple facilities at once to cover the needs of everyone scattered around the globe in your group.
Once you’ve booked a location, you can customize aspects of the meeting to best suit your needs before you book it. WhyGo offers flexibility to accommodate to many different types of needs.
So why choose Telepresence Facilities? With so many locations across the world, it’s hard to find a match-up across oceans better than with WhyGo. But most importantly, these facilities offer top-of-the-line service in every aspect of your conference, from the equipment and the environment to the quality of the connection. You’ll never have to worry about sound interference or poor video quality at a Telepresence facility, and you’ll always be comfortable and well-prepared for any type of business interaction. Find a location in your town today!
Hotels are embracing video conferencing and telepresence
We are always interested in taking a look at new markets in which video conferencing and telepresence technology is making a difference. That’s why recent news about hotels around the world looking to video conferencing as a new business tactic to boost tourism fortunes is so exciting. Reporter Frederick Obura of Standard Digital in Armenia writes:
“Serena and Tribe Hotel have launched separate partnerships with various Internet Service Providers in an effort to introduce teleprescence technology in their conference menu. â€œKenya is now served by more than three submarine fibre optic cables, this is an opportunity that could be used to add value to local conferencing activities,â€ said Tribe Hotel General Manager Michael Flint.”
The decision seems like a no-brainer now that the connection has been made – traveling business employees have a need to connect with their employers and co-workers to collaborate on projects very frequently. Hotels can increase revenue by supplying customers with powerful tools to accomplish this right in-house. This means that users won’t have to worry about having their own hardware or paying for an Internet connection – they can make a single payment to take part in a video conference right in the hotel.
Business travel is just as popular as ever, and the need for reliable communications is palpable. This is an especially advantageous tool for people who are traveling to other countries and areas of the world, because they wouldn’t have to worry about making international calls and other connectivity concerns.
We hope to see the hotel industry embrace this technology worldwide. It would certainly be a great boon for video conferencing developers!
Huawei is bringing telepresence technology to Ghana
The exciting new age of technology has been spreading rapidly across all regions of the world, and it is only continuing to do so as time goes on. New and useful tools for communication and efficient practices are slowly being commercialized in all areas of the world, from North America and Europe to Asia and Africa. A good example of this effort to spread new technology can be found in a recent news story that shows how Huawei is bringing telepresence technology to Ghana. The article explains the company’s plan:
“Huawei Ghana has said as part of its new innovations to bridge the digital divide, it would showcase its telepresence demonstration truck in Ghana in October this year as a precursor to introducing tele-conferencing in country.”
The company will be showcasing its telepresence technology through demonstrations that run from 9am to 5pm daily. Individuals and businesses will get a chance to experience new technology and gauge how it may have a positive effect on thier daily practices. This is all in preparation for Huawei’s move to commercialize telepresence technology in the country. Although Huawei has provided some segments of Guana with telepresence already – such as at the Castle, Flag Staff House, and six regional government offices – the technology has yet to spread to the general public.
Showcasing the technology beforehand is a good idea because it allows people to take some time and consider whether they want to invest in telepresence solutions and how they will go about preparing for it. We hope to see more regions of the world get a chance to experience the power of telepresence systems.
Huawei looks to challenge Cisco’s lead in telepresence
We have often discussed in this blog how the video conferencing and telepresence industry can really benefit from some healthy competition. Having companies and developers working to challenge one another in the market puts pressure on each of them to come up with more intuitive and more affordable communications solutions,which pays off for the customer in spades. That’s why recent news that Huawei is aiming to challenge Cisco’s telepresence dominance is so exciting. An article from Channelnomics explains the news:
“Huawei is planning a major push into the high-definition telepresence market, looking to blind side Ciscos dominance in the life-like video conferencing technology segment. Huawei desires to to expand its 20% global market shareÂ is part of a larger plan to expand the company beyond its telecommunications equipment core and grow revenues from $32 billion today to more than $100 billion by 2021
The Chinese-based company poses a real threat to Cisco and other industry leaders. Their intuitive technology and ambitious marketing strategies could create real tension between front runners in the telepresence market. As the article points out, the stakes are very high in this particular industry – there’s at least $22 billion of opportunity between 2012 and 2016 alone.
We hope that this addition of a driven competitor will facilitate new developments and lower prices for users all over the world. Telepresence technology is truly astounding, but until it becomes more affordable, many people will have to settle for less.The best way to push in the right direction is to add competition and encourage development.
Is video conferencing moving away from telepresence?
One of the most exciting and powerful markets within the video conferencing industry has been the development of telepresence grade hardware and software. These high-end systems provide users with top-of-the-line tools for sustaining large video conferences on high quality audio and video connections. However, recent market struggles and studies have shown that telepresence may not be the best direction for video conferencing to take.
Only a small portion of the global consumer market can afford to invest in telepresence technology, and although its high price tag means a good deal of profit, the overall effect of companies focusing on this area of products is not a good one. It tends to leave smaller businesses and individuals left in the wake of enterprises and other well-off groups. With more focus on the development of powerful telepresence tools, less effort is being spent on creating effective and affordable video conferencing options for businesses and institutions with smaller budgets. Thankfully, this may be beginning to change. A recent article on Fierce Enterprise Communications takes a look at how video conferencing developers are shifting their sights. Reporter Fred Donovan takes a look at the shift towards the mobile market, writing:
“Davis told an audienceÂ that mobile applications would soon outpace other videoconferencing offerings such as telepresence and room-based systems. In fact, demand for telepresence systems is expected to decline sharply in the coming years as the market for these systems becomes saturated.
Davis noted that information workers are only in their office on average less than one-quarter of the time. Enterprises will need to support anywhere, anytime connectivity, including videoconferencing capabilities, to meet the requirements of those workers.”
Instead of Telepresence
As mentioned in the article, the mobile market is one of the fastest growing sectors of the video conference industry and it is garnering a hefty amount of attention from developers worldwide. The need for competitive software to match the growing popularity of the iPad and similar devices has led companies such as Polycom to focus more on how their software can be applied to the mobile market.
Beyond that, Donovan notes that companies are still looking for effective solutions to the problem of interconnectivity and collaboration. This is one of the longest standing issues facing the video conferencing industry, and it affects the smaller markets the most. Hopefully, the development of more effective connectivity tools to match up disparate programs and hardware systems will allow smaller businesses to employ “bring your own device” protocol and other similar decisions that will allow for less tress on the company budget.
What remains for telepresence
This isn’t to say that telepresence itself is a dying industry. We can be sure that Polycom, Cisco, and other leaders in the market such as Huawei will continue to devote significant effort to improve upon telepresence technology. For now, though, innovations and completely new products may be mostly found in the smaller markets.
We are excited to see how the whyGo corporate account industry works to fill the gap in the middle markets and create more effective mobile and SMB-based technology.
LifeSize Looks To Compete With Telepresence
The market for telepresence has been experiencing struggles in recent months due to the development of less expensive solutions for video conferencing and unified communications. One service provider in particular, LifeSize, has looked to challenge the telepresence market with its new line of high-definition, low-cost video conferencing tools called Unity.
Channelnomics writer Larry Walsh explains some of the specifics of this new technology:
“The first two products of the new Unity series are the Unity 50 tabletop and the Unity 500, a conference room deployment. The Unity 50 provides 720p quality through a 24-inch integrated camera, audio and video unit. The Unity 500 provides 1080p quality with a 40-inch screen and integrated audio and cameras. Both units connect to phones and PCs, making the management and operation simple for users.”
But what really drives LifeSize’s products home, according to Walsh, is its software. LifeSize aims to make its systems compatible with a wide range of platforms and puts a strong emphasis on making its video conferencing tools easy to use, even for newcomers to the medium. This combination of competitively strong hardware and versatile, desirable software makes the Unity line a strong contender for a frontrunner in the industry.
However, Walsh also points out that these units are still not truly inexpensive. With the Unity 50 line starting at $3,999 and the Unity 500 at $19,999, they could still be considered to be on the “higher end” of video conferencing tools. Still, these price tags are much lower than Cisco and Polycom telepresence tools, so the Unity line could be a happy medium for businesses looking for a powerful solution that doesn’t empty out their wallet.
Setting the bar high with Telepresence Facilities
WhyGo’s video conferencing solutions offer a wide range of services all across the globe, and our booking system makes it easy for you to accomplish anything you want to do. Your experience with the conferencing can be fully customized to tailor fit your every need. Here we’ll go over the prestigious telepresence facilities, which we like to consider the “Rolls Royce” or high end of our video conferencing facilities.
So why choose telepresence? The obvious first answer is that these facilities offer the highest quality that’s out there. Your video will be in perfect, crystal-clear high definition in life size. Your audio will come in seamlessly through surround sound with studio-quality high fidelity acoustics. The rooms themselves are designed with conferencing in mind, made for your comfort and efficient business progression. From the tables and the microphones to the chairs and screens, everything has been chosen and set up to give you the most professional and high grade video conferencing there is out there.
Unless you’re a very successful business, though, telepresence facilities may not be an everyday type of commitment. So in what special occasions should you step it up and sign up for one of these rooms? Here are a couple of examples of when choosing telepresence might be beneficial for you.
- If you’ve got a new client or partner of some sort and you want to impress them, look no further than the top tier facilities in telepresence.
- An important meeting that demands full clarity, or a meeting that’s data- or presentation-heavy, might benefit from the highest quality audio and video equipment.
Vidyo offers HD video and telepresence solutions on MItel services
When two industry leaders in any environment are able to partner and collaborate to deliver integrated solutions and services, the customers always win. Combining proprietary software, services, and concepts with others to create more seamless and effective solutions for communication and collaboration is a great way to improve the industry as a whole. In the world of video conferencing, customers are privileged to see this happening on a regular basis. The most recent news shows how Vidyo, an industry leader in HD telepresence and video conferencing, and MItel, a Unified Communications product and package expert, are working together to provide telepresence as a part of Mitel’s UC products. The press release from Vidyo explains:
“Through this reseller and distribution agreement, Mitels global channel partners will be able to offer the UCC end-to-end video conferencing solution, also available as a cloud offering. Early customers are already seeing significant cost savings, while boosting productivity.”
Mitel provides a wide range of suites and products that help businesses integrate applications that reduce costs and improve communication capabilities in all environments. By allowing these offerings to include Vidyo’s impressive and cost-efficient video conferencing and telepresence solutions, customers now have access to an additional avenue for connectivity in business. Cloud readiness is also a huge selling point here; businesses don’t have to worry about their infrastructure when looking for a solution to remote communication and specifically for a video conferencing solution.
We are excited to see what the future holds for Vidyo and MItel’s partnership and we hope to see more examples of this type of collaboration!
Cisco partners with Synnex to give TelePresence to SMEs in Thailand
The spread of video conferencing technology across the globe has become a topic of much discussion in recent years. Its capability to increase productivity and create new opportunities for communications and experiences in nearly every area of the world has made it a powerful tool that many businesses and institutions desire. Unfortunately, some roadblocks and monetary concerns have kept certain groups of people and businesses from adopting the technology. Specifically, small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have reported hesitance to adopt video conferencing due to its costs and other similar concerns. A recent story from Thailand, however, shows how video conferencing giant Cisco Systems is teaming up with distributor Synnex to provide SMEs in the country with Cisco’s state-of-the-art TelePresence systems. An article from The Nation explains:
“Cisco Systems (Thailand)’s managing director Tatchapol Poshyanonda said the videoconferencing market was expected to see rapid growth over the next couple of years, across market segments and for all sizes of businesses, in part because of the recovery after the flooding last year.
The company appointed Synnex (Thailand) as its value-added distributor to provide total solutions for the SMEs market, using Cisco’s TelePresence. This is the first time Cisco Systems (Thailand) has entered this market segment. Both the SME and the corporate market are growing rapidly in Thailand, Tatchapol said.”
Cisco seems to realize the growing demand for video conferencing solutions in the business world and has chosen a partner that can help them distribute their technology in a way that makes it both marketable and affordable. It’s a smart business move for both companies and it puts Thailand in a strong position moving forward. The article suggests, perhaps a bit boldly, that the near future will see video conferencing as the main form of meetings. While this may not be the immediate truth, it’s certainly worth noting that the interest for the technology has been growing rapidly and is not expected to stop anytime soon.
If more SMEs around the world can have access to affordable and powerful video conferencing tools, we may see even further growth in the industry.
3D Telepresence Technology
It’s always exciting when innovators in the field of technology take steps toward impressive new features and capabilities. The return of the 3D phenomenon in movie theaters and home electronics such as 3D television and the Nintendo 3DS have placed substantial attention on the benefits and uses of three-dimensional video and the technology behind it. But who would have expected this to spread to the realm of video conferencing? A recent article on 3DTV.com reveals how researchers at the University of North Carolina have found a way to create life-sized 3D telepresence for video conferencers.
How It Works
Surprisingly enough, the technology used to develop this fascinating new telepresence setup didn’t come from any existing 3D technology. It came from a video game system called the Microsoft Kinect, which uses motion capture capability to respond to the movements of players in front of a sensor. The system developed at UNC actually uses a whopping ten of these powerful cameras for its 3D telepresence – reporter Mike Lata perhaps explains it best, relaying information from his sources.
According to 3DFocus, “The prototype… utilizes ten Microsoft Kinect cameras, a two panel display wall (the ‘window’ to the remote scene), complex algorithms and GPU accelerated data processing to allow a remote viewer to look into a live scene, which changes perspective as the viewer moves his or her head. It is as if the displays are a window into another room so as you walk past, you will be able to look around objects. (3DTV.com)
Why It’s Different
To those unfamiliar with telepresence or 3D technology in general, this news may be hard to digest. One of the best comparisons would be recent stories about telepresence robots in schools and businesses, which can be used to move from room to room and even interact with remote objects and people. The difference is that the robot is not required here – the camera setup means that a person’s movements can dictate action. It’s one of the most fully interactive and complex remote conference setups to date.
How It Can Be Used
Being able to look on into live scenes on the other end of a video connection is a useful tool in countless situations. Many work environments could directly benefit from a more hands-on interaction from remote workers. For jobs that deal with large hardware or other tools, a remote employee could benefit from the ability to look around at multiple angles of the object in question and have people on the other end interact with it. Possible examples of such applications include workplaces like construction sites, manufacturers of vehicles, safety testing, and so on.
The use of multiple cameras and offering multiple angles in on a single scene gives users a dynamic, more lifelike representation of what’s going on on the other end. Even if you’d just want to use this for a simple business conference, you could actually move around to look at different people around the table as they talk, instead of hearing a phantom voice or having someone rotate the camera, laptop, or whatever device was being used before.
These are just a couple of the ways that 3D can innovate the telepresence world. With such new technology in place, we’re sure to see further developments and applications in the near future.