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Telepresence VS Video Conferencing

 At Eyenetwork we offer our customers video conferencing as well as telepresence services. But what is the difference between them? Quite often people get confused between the two so the aim of this blog article is to give some insight to both with pointing out the main areas of differences. It is important to keep in mind that there are no universally true definitions for either of the terms and that the differences and similarities between the two change over time, just like the technology itself.

TELEPRESENCE

Beginning with telepresence, the first and most obvious difference is that telepresence will have more than one screen and adjusted positioning of the screen the table and the lighting in the room.  It is a different type of technology in terms of quality and most importantly the environmental factor.

The images in a telepresence call are life-size and the quality is ultra-high definition in terms of clarity and audio. The audio quality allows for all users to speak at the same time with no clipping or echoes. The technology is high definition so the experience sounds like a group of people together in a meeting room with no hesitation of speech. With telepresence the participants feel like they are sitting at the same table just like in a face to face meeting. With the image there is no delay or latency which makes the experience feel more life-like. It is an immersive experience that is simple and user friendly.

Telepresence will be more expensive than video conferencing and it is not available everywhere. Most often, telepresence suites will be located in major cities around the world.

 VIDEO CONFERENCING

Since its beginnings video conferencing has come a long way and the quality of the sound and image has improved greatly over the last few years and continues to improve with the constant development of technology.

The main aim of video conferencing is to provide video and audio communications between two (point-to-point) or more (Multipoint) locations. Unlike telepresence (especially when it comes to group meetings) the other end will usually see a person or more people sitting behind or around the table. Some will be closer to the camera, some will be further and sometimes the camera will focus or follow the current speaker. There will also be only one screen on each end of the meeting. The audio may vary between the speakers. Video conferencing allows the users to share data (like shared documents computer information or power point presentations). Modern video conferencing systems can also be operated on personal devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones which enable a much greater flexibility in operation.

Video conferencing is available in many countries around the globe, even more remote locations. It is a cost effective solution that allows people to meet and share information without the need to travel.

Both solutions have their advantages and disadvantages like all things, so the choice of which to use for a meeting should be made on the demands, preferences and requirements of the customer.

It is important to keep in mind that with the fast pace of technology changes, the differences between video conferencing and telepresence are in the constant process of change and development and the two may be closer or further from each other in the future.