Telepresence 'available in the home within five years'

Businesses will roll-out high definition video conferencing to allow senior staff to work at home within four or five years, according to analyst group Gartner.

Businesses will roll-out high definition video conferencing to allow senior staff to work at home within four or five years, according to analyst group Gartner.

Robert Mason, research director for enterprise network services, predicts that higher broadband speeds will make the high-definition video conferencing, or telepresence, a reality for many businesses by 2015.

Telepresence typically uses multiple screens and offers a managed concierge service to help people use the technology effectively.

Click here to download full article from Gartner anaylst Robert Mason: Installing telepresence to the home - are you ready ? (requires registration)

Businesses are driving better returns on their company video conferencing systems by installing the technology in the homes of board-level executives, said Mason.

"When we look at the conference room experience, when customers can drive north of 20% utilisation, they are usually very satisfied with RoI. Extending to the home helps them build beyond 20%," he said.

Businesses typically deploy a dedicated video conferencing appliance with a single screen, or desktop video conferencing system, with their own dedicated broadband lines.

"The main challenge is that executives have high expectations of quality. You have a device you can control, but in many cases, a network you can't control. The challenge for the enterprise is to optimise the whole experience."

Mason predicts that telepresence technologies will become commonplace on the public internet in 2011, with the appearance of dedicated video exchanges offering teleconferencing services.

And scalable video technology will allow organisations to use bandwidth more efficiently, he said.

The technology will allow conference participants to receive the best quality picture for the bandwidth they have, rather than reducing everyone on the conference to the lowest common denominator for picture quality.

Telepresence technology will also begin to offer users the equivalent of instant messaging on video, said Mason.

"One of the most pressing issues is how to go from a provisioned experience to an ad-hoc experience. To do that we need substantially lower bandwidth costs. We are probably four or five years from seeing a tipping point," he said.

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