What is Telepresence?

Telepresence is a form of remote conferencing in which the participants appear to be physically present in the conference space. Body language cues like eye contact are easily transmitted and interpreted because of the fidelity, size, and position of the images. Both 2D and 3D telepresence have been employed as a means of making it seem as though a user is in a location when they physically are not. This is a technique intended to make collaboration feel more seamless and replicate the benefits of face-to-face communication. Typically, 3D telepresence requires a specially configured space in which to capture a 360-degree image that can then be inserted into a virtual set, and viewed from any angle, but high-definition displays, seamless integration with software and data presentation, and full-surround audio make even 2D telepresence a very immersive experience.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the museums you know best?

  • (Just a question: museums? Is this a leftover from the museum edition, perhaps? ;-)- helga helga Oct 6, 2015
  • Web based telepresence is a growth sector because it is personal-telepresence. Synchronous online learning is growing in capability and adoption as web based video conferencing matures. I've had students send remote-control web cams to class so they can participate live - from home, or wherever. They have full remote control so they can 'turn their head' look around and engage with their colleagues. Michigan State is using the Kubi/Zoom in an interesting way. - brad.hinson brad.hinson Oct 9, 2015
  • Variations on the use of telepresence are increasingly visible in the teaching-training-world even without costly high-end equipment. If we think about Skype as a presentation/interaction tool (http://paulsignorelli.com/PDFs/Skype%20as%20Conference%20Tool.pdf) and Google Hangouts as a way of connecting onsite and offsite learners as well as learners and learning facilitators (https://buildingcreativebridges.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/nekls-innovation-day-2015-training-teaching-learning-while-hanging-out-in-kansas/) we can see that this doesn't have to be years away, and its relevance is that it extends the reach of our teaching-training-learning efforts in wonderfully engaging ways.- paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Oct 16, 2015 - helga helga Oct 23, 2015
  • Great potential for this technology from personal tutoring to international group work - V expensive proprietary systems V hand crafted solutions as Paul mentions above - DaveP DaveP Oct 24, 2015

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Traditional telepresence vs web based telepresence obviously overlap, but there are new affordances with the web-based tools. The wide availability and affordability of web based telepresence makes it more ubiquitous and mobile. It becomes a personal tool. It is not confined to a specialized facility - thus its utility for mobile learning and online-synchronous classwork is on the rise - brad.hinson brad.hinson Oct 9, 2015 - paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Oct 16, 2015 - helga helga Oct 23, 2015
  • Traditional telepresence - old school video conferencing - has a perception of old-school business meetings. Personalized telepresence is another matter all together. - brad.hinson brad.hinson Oct 9, 2015
  • In its present form Telepresence is not really a functional leap over videoconferencing. The big trend in this area is the increasingly quality coupled with decreasing costs associated with effective remote visual communication. Why pay $30,000+ for a Polycom system when you can get 90% of the way there with Skype or Google Hangouts for free. I sometimes wonder whether telepresence just a mechanism for those high-end systems to stay relevant. - tom.haymes tom.haymes Oct 19, 2015 - DaveP DaveP Oct 24, 2015

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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