cisco's telepresence

09 April 2008

Watch This:
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This is Cisco’s telepresence magic !

What it appears: DeBeer in US, Chambers in India, but both appear on a stage, together, (in India), and both are talking-laughing-discussing-every thing except shaking hands.

What they want us to believe: Cisco has discovered magic. Something like a sci-fi virtual reality movie.

What we guess: Perhaps they have discovered some 3D projection technology which they are using to duplicate the 3D video data they are capturing from a remote location and sending through high bandwidth channels. Not for everyone right now, only the corporate biggies are going to use it, but the technology is here.

The reality: Look at this wikipedia page. Cisco’s Telepresence “…provides high-definition 1080p video, spatial audio, and a setup designed to link two physically separated rooms so they resemble a single conference room …”. Also, “ ..The setup for the system include special tables, microphones, speakers, cameras, and lighting …”

So how is the ‘innovation’ Chambers is so loud about (star trek and all) any different from a normal video-conferencing apparatus? The video quality is superior (1080p high-definition), agreed, but not the best available in market. 2K/4K digital cinema technology is commercially available, and ultra-high definition video is in the research phase (the comparison). And the sound? We already use lifelike sound in many of our electronic appliances. And then the lights-camera-action (and tables), are what a technology company should claim to be so proud about? Does it not look like just an assembly of high-performing products, already available in market, garnished with a disgustingly fake marketing campaign (which includes this video)? Bollywood song-choreographers can do it better.

And not to forget the price tag - $249000 - close to a crore rupees.

The product itself is pretty honest about its capabilities, but what makes it look flimsy-shallow is the way Mr Chambers chose to present it in India, as shown in the video.

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