Wall Street Journal had an article today about Telepresence. Traditional video conferencing systems are slowly morphing into telepresence systems.
Traditional videoconferencing setups are essentially a monitor, camera and microphone, placed in a conventional conference room. Telepresence systems, by contrast, require specially designed rooms with multiple cameras, sound-damping equipment and high-definition video screens. They simulate the sensation of two groups of people at identical tables facing each other through windows.
In our research group, we are developing Environment-to-Environment (E2E) communication environment. These environments, we believe, will provide better functionality that telepresence and will be much cheaper. Moreover they will have graceful degradation — meaning one can use simple one camera — maybe even your mobile phone set up to a sophisticated immersive environment. That research is progressing very well. We recently wrote a techincal paper on that topic and submitted that for potential publication. Following standard procedure, I will not put the manuscipt for open circulation, but will be happy to share on limited basis with interested people.