#TechTalk: What is Telepresence Technology?

Telepresence refers to the application of complex video technologies to give geographically separated participants a sense of being together in the same location. These systems use high-definition cameras feeding to life-size HD displays with high-fidelity acoustics that, in many cases, localize sound to image, simulating the effect of each voice coming from the video display for each participant.

By Cisco Eng. Shingie Lev Muringi 

Telepresence operate in a quite similar way with other applications such as Skype but rather at a very faster Real-Time communication speed aided by high-definition graphics. Telepresence is anchored by very reliable Internet Protocols such as secure-shells.

The technologies are integrated into a high-bandwidth system to support real-time, seamless presentation in a dedicated telepresence space. In sophisticated telepresence rooms, the furniture and displays are arranged in ways that further enhance the simulation.

Cisco's Telepresence technology is currently the most reliable and popular application used even by the United Sates Government for high conference meetings
Cisco’s Telepresence technology is currently the most reliable and popular application used even by the United Sates Government for high conference meetings

Participants sit at a conference table and see high-resolution video of participants in remote locations at similar tables, allowing participants to imagine sharing a single table. Many vendors also offer lower-bandwidth options, which may allow people to participate using desktop clients, albeit at lower fidelity, resulting in a less compelling experience.

Telepresence systems have become popular for scientists and researchers who work in different cities or even countries because more than with web conferencing the feeling of shared presence is striking, allowing users to forget about differences in location.

A telepresence system requires at least two locations with dedicated server hardware and software, bandwidth to support the HD throughput, and equipment that can deliver high-quality audio and HD video. People appear life-size, frequently seated, with torso and hands visible.

The battle for relevance continues…follow Shingie Levison Muringi our Technology Research Specialist and Sub Editor on Twitter @ShingieMuringi1, Email shingie@technomag.co.zw or direct Cell: 0775 380 652 for all the latest trending technological issues in and outside Zimbabwe.

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