Cisco Steps Into 'Telepresence' With New Videoconferencing Line
The idea is to combine high-definition video and audio, large plasma screens, lighting, and even office furniture to create a life-like videoconference that Cisco claims is nearly as good as meeting in person.
Virtual reality isn't just for gamers anymore.
Cisco Systems this week is launching its much-touted telepresence offering, a high-definition videoconferencing line that some channel partners said will change the way customers communicate, collaborate and do business.
More than just high-definition, the new Cisco offering crosses the line into telepresence, a videoconferencing paradigm that combines top-quality video and audio, large plasma screens, lighting and even office furniture to create a life-like videoconference that's nearly as good as meeting in person.
"It's the first time we've seen virtual reality in a normal business application," said Matt Horner, vice president of professional services at World Wide Technology, St. Louis, Mo., one of a handful of Cisco channel partners currently trained and authorized to deploy the products.
The hope is that the telepresence technology is essentially transparent, overcoming the distractions of choppy video and sound quality associated with traditional videoconferencing to create a realistic experience.
"[Traditional] videoconferencing just never delivered an experience that was anything close to telepresence. It's not integrated into the network, and it provides a poor audiovisual experience," said Jon Jensen, CEO of Nexus IS, a Valencia, Calif.-based Cisco partner. "It just doesn't deliver the human experience customers have been looking for."
For telepresence users, the image on the screen across from them appears life-size, clear enough to pick up the nuances of facial expressions and body language. The surround-sound audio comes from the direction of the person speaking.
Cisco isn't the only company that has seen the potential of such technology, which will cut down on the time and expense of travel, while improving productivity for customers. The vendor is, however, among the biggest names to enter the space and arguably the best positioned to provide a complete offering, with tie-ins to its IP network infrastructure, VoIP and unified communications portfolios.
Hewlett-Packard launched its telepresence line, Halo Collaboration Studio, in December 2005, in partnership with film company DreamWorks Animation SKG.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Infographic: The State of DevOps in 2017Is DevOps helping organizations reduce costs and time-to-market for software releases? What's getting in the way of DevOps adoption? Find out in this InformationWeek and Interop ITX infographic on the state of DevOps in 2017.
2017 State of IT ReportIn today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.