The much-heralded arrival of videoconferencing as an essential business tool seems to have been happening every year since the 1990s. With improvements in IP bandwidth and broadband coverage, it appears the promise is finally being fulfilled, with technology more diverse than ever. The Telepresence experience looks to drive this to a new level entirely.
With a broad range of solutions available, organisations contemplating a video conferencing investment have to take many factors into account, including objectives, network needs and budget considerations.
As the technology is patently effective, organisations are looking to deploy VC and TP solutions for a wide range of reasons, from improving communications, collaboration and increasing competitiveness to reducing travel costs and enabling mobile and home working via laptops and tablets.
Free internet social video applications are freely available that allow easy access to video chat but many organisations are not aware of the security implications using these. Most true Videoconferencing & Telepresence systems employ high levels of encryption to ensure confidentiality during calls. Simple desktop VC solutions with HD quality are relatively inexpensive, but with such a range of diverse options available, expert advice is recommended to help assess your needs and pitch your budget level.
A good video conferencing room aims to create the natural feel of a meeting with large, clear images and high quality digital sound. A three-screen telepresence facility takes the effect much further, by reproducing life-size images of the far-end participants – and their voices – as naturally as if they were actually in the same room, with eye-to-eye contact. Visually, this is achieved by the size and the pinpoint positioning of the screens and cameras in relation to the seated participants. Using three ceiling mounted microphones enables the system to triangulate the position of each speaker and provide realistic directional audio. During a meeting participants can share PC content on touch screen monitors connected to a bespoke option such as a SMART Bridgit server, allowing all participants to work simultaneously on the same document. Combining this technology with Polycom’s ATX solution delivers a true collaborative, immersive telepresence solution.
In today’s internet-driven world, business is about fast versus slow, not large versus small – focusing more on moving information than moving people. Many organisations that have invested in TP and VC technology are reaping the rewards right now, particularly against competitors who haven’t yet got on board. Few, if any other technology investments can add financial value to an organisation’s assets year on year on a similar scale.
Video conferencing and TP can deliver a high level of return on investment, with cost savings that extend way beyond train, plane and car expenses. Apart from air fares, consider all the time wasted on a typical business trip plus accommodation and subsistence costs. Some users are really surprised at how quickly the systems can pay for themselves.
In response to the expanding immersive TP market Saville Audio Visual opened a London telepresence demonstration facility in the heart of the City, designed, built and installed by its own team. Saville southern business manager Darren Pitt said: “The TP Centre is ideally located for our clients and prospective customers in London. The technology is intuitively easy to use and delivers stunning images and natural sound. It represents a true state-of-the-art global conferencing facility and illustrates our capabilities in the design and installation of bespoke immersive TP environments”.
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Saville Immersive TP Suite – the complete immersive environment.