Cisco Asks: Ready for Your Close-Up?

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2006-10-25 Print this article Print

Reporter's Notebook: Cisco enables media members to experience the full effect of its impressive new TelePresence audio-video conference system.

SAN JOSE, Calif.-If Cisco Systems and its effervescent president and CEO, John Chambers, are right-and they have been right a lot of the time-the company's new TelePresence system or something like it will indeed become a killer app for business, education, government and even consumer use.

On the surface, TelePresence doesn't sound like it would be that big a deal. TelePresence is simply a set of video conferencing screens large enough to show extremely high-definition, life-size images of people placed at the same table with you-so that it appears they are actually in the room.

In fact, your meeting guests in London, Singapore or wherever are so "in the room," that sometimes you forget and want to offer them refills of their lattes.

I was invited to experience TelePresence at the launch a couple of days ago. I have to say it was very impressive. The video and audio was flawless, and there was no latency that I could ascertain. The leader started and stopped the meeting with one button on a special telephone readout.

What could be easier than that? The most difficult thing, it turns out, is to simply get all the meeting participants in the two rooms to sit down at the appointed coordinates.

Click here to read more about TelePresence.

So, with the technicalities not getting in the way, you find yourself focusing quickly on (and not necessarily in this order):

A) the business at hand;

B) whether your hair is combed; and

C) the subtle expressions made by people around the table during conversation that are so important in making judgments about people.

Don't bother to deny it; we make judgments all day long. Is he telling the truth? What is she not telling me? Does he believe what I just told him? That woman's got quite an attitude! And so on.

Next Page: Non-verbal communication.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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