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Cisco Telepresence

Cisco produced their product, Telepresence, in order to connect the business world by simulating a face-to-face meeting through a virtual media experience. These Telepresence systems are not bought on an inexpensive whim, they are investments to better connect people by creating a congruent atmosphere on both sides of the network. When interacting, the effects (video, audio, etc) make it feel as though you are in the same room as the other actors to whom you are communicating. This is done by camera placement that is placed below the top of the screen – aimed to simulate eye-contact – as well as  the opposing room having the same table, background, etc. It is a pretty cool idea that is, so far (and arguably), the best replacement for a face-to-face meeting. The effect is depicted below:

Around the conference table

Around the conference table

With technology advancing and Telepresence becoming ever-more used in the business world, a migration into academia is inevitable. Earlier in the semester, we discussed the effectiveness of weak ties and the strength that they pose for actors involved.  While we see an increase in ways to communicate with people around the world, is this becoming more and more visible in our community or is the technology not having an impact on relationships? With Facebook, I can argue that the ties here are not giving me any leverage. The most recent job opportunity that i have found was through my cousin’s girlfriend and personal interaction. Thus, on this side of the argument, technology hasn’t played a large role. On the other hand – this might be different.

http://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=592716

For those of you who are too lazy to click that link, here is the opening paragraph:

“Duke University and Cisco today unveiled a first-of-its-kind virtual lecture hall for students enrolled in Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in Durham, N.C.  Custom-built using Cisco TelePresenceTM technology, the new lecture facility provides business school students with access to professors, business leaders and guest lecturers located around the globe, extending the in-person classroom environment across campuses and into the business world.”

Duke

The Telepresence idea that has taken form in the last couple years is something that I feel is pulling us in the right direction. The way it’s being used is saving travel-costs and enriching our generation with even more access to information than ever seen before!  Not just the information that wikipedia regurgitates to us, but the information of REAL PEOPLE that we can look in the eye, hold conversations with, but while separated by 3000 miles. I feel that this is creating more ties for students to better enhance the networking possibilities by bridging gaps to connect more nodes than ever seen before. Duke University is ahead of the curve by working with Cisco technology. We all see projectors in every classroom to give students a better visual learning experience, thus I am interested and intrigued about the possibilities that universities might have with the ability to connect with professors, professionals, alums and geniuses using these special lecture hall arrangements. This is a good thing, a productive thing and I’d be prepared to participate in a confusing, theoretical betting game that we will be seeing much more Telepresence utilized in the university environments in the near future – nice move Cisco.

Sources:

http://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=5353736

http://www.humanproductivitylab.com/images/blog_pics/howard_img/Cisco%20TelePresence%20Launch.jpg

Comments

One Response to “ Cisco Telepresence ”

  • Carlos Wang

    Hello, I’m a current AMBA student at Johnson and former Cisco software engineer. I did not work on TP but I met the TP team while in Silicon Valley. I’m considering bringing Telepresence to Cornell with the support of Johnson’s EII Institute. I see many use cases for it that can make it self-sustainable. If you are still interested in TP, please contact me. Thanks!

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