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Expert roundtable: Telepresence offers ease of use

Consumer uptake of telepresence studios isn’t just due to the higher quality images and audio than traditional video conferencing facilities – it’s also due to the ease of use offered by technology which can synthesise a real life face-to-face meeting.

This was the conclusion of a panel of industry experts at the Enterprise Communications Europe event in London this month. Enterprise Communications reports that Marc Trachtenberg, co-founder of Teliris, said that telepresence uses “so many factors” beyond video and audio that it eliminates the technological barrier of traditional video conferencing systems. He believes that this “transparency” of use is “probably the key factor as to why it improves the experience over traditional video conferencing.”

Mr Trachtenberg’s opinion was shared by Howard Lichtman, president of Human Productivity Lab. He says that early video conference systems were unable to meet subconscious expectations from the user – that their counterparts would be “life size”, have “fluid” emotion or even accurate flesh tones.

“I expect when you talk that the sound is going to come you,” he said, “And I think that’s what traditional video conferencing didn’t deliver….when you do meet those expectations….people will use it.”

Others stressed that beyond its intuitiveness, the ease of use offered by modern ‘plug and play’ telepresence set-ups is of equal importance to clients. Dave Thomson, Cisco systems European Marketing Manager for Unified Communications & Collaboration, says that now users can “just press a button, it starts the meeting and they’re not thinking about the technology.”