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RoboReceptionist: BladeRunner Meets Cisco Reception Desk

When I visited Cisco's Silicon Valley campus this week, I saw a videoconferencing application I had never heard of before. But it wasn't in some super-secret press-only demonstration -- it was in the lobby!
When I visited Cisco's Silicon Valley campus this week, I saw a videoconferencing application I had never heard of before. But it wasn't in some super-secret press-only demonstration -- it was in the lobby!Videoconferencing and telepresence have been getting a lot of attention lately as alternatives to expensive travel to meetings. But clearly we're only beginning to scratch the surface of the technology's possible applications.

That became completely clear when I walked into the lobby of a Cisco building and instead of seeing a receptionist, I saw a video screen connecting to remote receptionist located somewhere else. I couldn't resist snapping a photo with my BlackBerry: RoboReceptionist Cisco's RoboReceptionist!

The advantages are obvious. A single receptionist can serve multiple buildings at the same time, for much lower cost. That little box on the left printed Visitor badges, and someone local still had to escort visitors into the building.

All in all, it was great advertising for Cisco's Telepresence systems. Plus, it was totally cool in a futuristic BladeRunner sort of way.