A telepresence room is a conference space dedicated to high-end videoconferencing. The goal of telepresence technology is to replicate face-to-face communication virtually, thereby eliminating the cost and time of long distance travel.
Telepresence rooms improve on the traditional videoconferencing experience by using multiple high definition cameras with eye-tracking features and directional microphones. Some systems allow participants to share documents. Telepresence room technology is generally quite expensive and requires a large amount of dedicated bandwidth.
Teliris, Tandberg, Nortel, HP, Polycom and Cisco have all developed telepresence technology. In 2008, HP announced a partnership with Marriott to install telepresence rooms in selected hotels. Last year Cisco announced a similar partnership with Regus business centers.
In October 2008, Cisco demonstrated the first telepresence videoconferencing rooms for public use. The rooms hold up to 18 people and are available in a number of locations around the world, at rates between $299 and $899 (USD) per hour.
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SearchUnifiedCommunications.com reports that the telepresence industry should pass the $1 billion mark by 2013.