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Telepresence, Effective Visual Collaboration and the Future ...


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  1. 1. Telepresence, Effective Visual Collaboration and the Future of Global Business at the Speed of Light By Howard S. Lichtman Human Productivity Lab August 2006 For more information or to order copies, visit © 2006 Howard S. Lichtman All rights reserved. No part of the material protected by this copyright may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, in whole or in part, without permission in writing from the copyright owner. Requests for permission should be directed to: Howard S. Lichtman at Printed in the United States of America 1
  2. 2. Telepresence, Effective Visual Collaboration and the Future of Global Business at the Speed of Light Table of Contents Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 The Future of Telepresence and Effective Visual Collaboration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Effective Inter-Company Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Executive Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 The Interconnection of Effective Visual Understanding the Hard, Soft, and Opportunity Collaboration Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Cost of Physical Travel on Senior Executive Time: . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Publicly Available Telepresence Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Why Traditional Videoconferencing Fails to Deliver the Goods. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) and Consumer Telepresence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Telepresence — What is it and Why Does it Cost so Much Money? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 The Rise of the Virtual Organization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 So Why Does Telepresence Cost So Much Money? . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Better and Cheaper Telepresence Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 The Importance of Creating Social Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Distance Learning Will become a Key Telepresence Application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Types of Telepresence Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Headends- Content Will be King . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Delivering Telepresence and Effective Visual Collaboration: The Telepresence Tool Kit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Accelerated Adoption for Economic and Geopolitical Reasons. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 The ROI of Telepresence and Effective Visual Collaboration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Outsourcing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Measuring and Understanding Telepresence and The Higher Costs and Reduced Convenience Effective Visual Collaboration Usage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 of Physical Travel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Business Effectiveness — Increased Utility, Greater Dramatically Higher Oil Prices — Peak Oil, Productivity, and Improved Outcomes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Natural Disasters, Terrorism, Expanded War in the Middle East or All of the Above. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Hard Dollar Travel Avoidance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 The Decline of the Dollar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Summarized Hard and Soft Dollar ROI and Intangible Benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Telepresence Buyers Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 About the Human Productivity Lab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Understanding the Total Cost Ownership and Acquisition Scenarios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 End-to-End Managed Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Appendix A: Telepresence Company Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Custom Integration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Appendix B: Sponsoring Vendor Marketing Material . . . . . . . . . . 52 Capitalize or Lease? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Teliris Global Table HP Halo Collaboration Studio 2
  3. 3. Preface Preface Introduction “The future is already here. It’s just not very evenly distributed.” This paper focuses on a group of revolutionary visual — William Gibson collaboration technologies called telepresence. In the spirit of full disclosure the author sits on the informal and unpaid Board Over the next decade, virtually every major Global 5000 company of Advisors of telepresence provider Digital Video Enterprises will adopt a technology allowing them to interact with people, no matter and was the former Vice President of Business Development at how far away, as if they were in the same room. The technology is called telepresence, and a variety of Fortune 1000 organizations already use it, TeleSuite Corporation (now Destiny Conferencing). This paper reporting both satisfaction and a strong return on their investment. was sponsored by the following companies: ATK Services, Destiny Conferencing, Digital Video Enterprises, HP, MedPresence, Polycom, Telepresence meetings make remote participants life-size, with fluid Telanetix, and Teliris. motion, accurate flesh-tones and flawless audio. The experience feels remarkably natural and comfortable for almost any size meeting from two people to large classrooms. Telepresence solutions are easy to use and surprisingly handy for Telepresence Conferencing Defined collaborating on spreadsheets, slide decks, documents or even physical objects with minute details. Specialized telepresence solutions for specific Telepresence is the science and art of creating industries already exist for settings as diverse as pharmaceutical research labs, movie and television studios, university-level distance learning, and visual conferencing environments that address the human neurological operating rooms. factors of the participants and duplicate, as closely as possible, an in-person experience. Soon enough, executives and the affluent will equip their homes with telepresence capabilities, while everyone else will be able to rent a Telepresence greatly improves end-user acceptance, telepresence system in a hotel, mall, restaurant or pub. Within a decade’s which dramatically increases usage and substantially time, you won’t think twice about having a virtual business meeting (or virtual dinner) with participants from Baghdad, Tokyo, Milan, or all improves demand, ROI and customer satisfaction. three cities simultaneously. While a variety of methods can be used to deliver While this paper focuses on the current global corporate usage, ROI, telepresence solutions, they typically offer some combi- main players, and future of telepresence, it barely scrapes the surface of nation of the following improvements over the “talking the impact the technology will have on society. heads” experience of traditional videoconferencing: Telepresence will ultimately produce good, bad and unintended consequences as it revolutionizes the way the world communicates. • Life-size participants Already it’s made a mark, and that impact will keep growing in ways we can only speculate about at the dawn of its inception: • Fluid motion • It will continue to accelerate commerce, globalization, outsourcing and the creation of wealth • Accurate flesh tones • It will dramatically impact the airlines, hotels, global network providers, • Studio quality video, lighting and acoustics financial markets, advertisers and Hollywood • It will continue to revolutionize, among other things, global corporate • The absence of visible technology governance, gaming, education, entertainment, medicine, diplomacy, home schooling, politics, warfare and pornography • True eye contact, or the approximation of eye contact • It is and will continue to expand the places where knowledge workers can in large group settings live and work while simultaneously shrinking the world around them • Immersive and/or mirrored environments where partici- It will be a trip . . . pants feel as if they are in the same physical space Best, • A consistency-of-quality between disparate locations. HSL Howard S. Lichtman President, Human Productivity Lab Destiny Conferencing / Polycom RPX 400 Series 3
  4. 4. Telepresence, Effective Visual Collaboration and the Future of Global Business at the Speed of Light Executive Summary Many thought that traditional videoconferencing would solve the problems of establishing face-to-face collaboration. However, At its core, business is about face-to-face relationships. Whether the technology has failed repeatedly to satisfy end-user expectations. those relationships are between a board member and corporate Though videoconferencing has moved from ISDN networks to IP, officer, salesperson and client, or partners in a joint venture, effective displays have gotten larger and better, and video codec resolution has business communication remains a combination of understanding, improved significantly. The average usage of videoconferencing remains mutual advantage and trust best exercised eye-to-eye between the moribund at an abysmal 15 hours per month during a time of global- main participants. ization, increasing costs and inconvenience of physical travel, and the general speed of business For decades, business has relied on commercial air travel to bring together the main players. Unfortunately, commercial air service Many videoconferencing users complain that talking to the continues to deteriorate (flight delays, mishandled bags and consumer “camera-on-the-TV-set-on-the-dessert-cart” is uncomfortable and complaints were all up in 2005i ), and last year alone a record five unnatural. The audio is often poor, the lighting wrong, colors off, airlines declared bankruptcy, including mega-carriers Northwest and resolution bad, format artificial, controls complex, collaborative tools Delta.ii Reduced competition and record fuel prices promise more weak and overall experience meager. Consequently, traditional video- problems in the future. conferencing is often the option of last resort, and even then almost always internally, and almost never for important meetings or with Compounding the problem, the Federal Aviation Administration customers or partners. forecasts a 45 percent growth of commercial passenger volume to one billion passengers annually by 2017.iii In the same time period, the Telepresence has dramatically improved the usage and acceptance FAA estimates that the private aviation jet fleet will double in sizeiv, of visual collaboration by addressing the human factors of partici- putting further pressure on an already strained capacity. pants to create a more natural, productive and realistic experience. Unlike videoconferencing, telepresence works at any scale, from the An article in the May 21, 2006 New York Times assessed the state desktop to small groups to distance learning classrooms to neuro- of the industry: logical surgical education. Quite simply, telepresence lets users feel as if they are “present” in the same physical space with others who might “Planes are expected to be packed fuller than at anytime be thousands of miles away. The experience is natural, comfortable, since World War II, when the airlines helped transport easy-to-use, supremely collaborative and as different from traditional troops. Fares are rising. Service frills are disappearing. videoconferencing as the space shuttle is to a commercial airliner. Logjams at airport security checkpoints loom as the Where traditional videoconferencing systems average 15 federal government strains to keep screener jobs filled. hours per month, adopters of telepresence group systems report The usual violent summer storms are expected to send revolutionary usage between 60 and 275 hours per month. Internally, the air traffic control system into chaos at times, with flight these solutions reduce travel for intra-company business, improve delays and cancellations cascading across the country. productivity and reduce wear and tear on road warriors. And many airline employees, after years of pay cuts and More importantly, most telepresence solutions provide a meeting added work, say they are dreading the season ahead.Those experience with a “business-class consistency-of-quality” between workers — and there are about 70,000 fewer of them than different organizations on the same network while simplifying how they in 2002 — will be handling more than 100 million more connect to and securely collaborate with partners, vendors, investors passengers this year than they did four years ago. and customers. The friendly skies, indeed.” This ability to effectively conduct global inter-company business will be, without a doubt, the “killer app” of the 21st century, and an Meanwhile, business continues to globalize, further increasing the application with potential for the same exponential growth that char- length, expense and hassle of both private and commercial aviation in acterized telephony, the Internet and other communication networks. managing international operations. The 19-hour flight from New York As more and more organizations join telepresence and effective visual City to Shanghai runs $2,300 for a 21-day advance coach fare; a 7-day collaboration networks, costs will drop, utility will rise and the benefits advance business class ticket costs $9,500.v of being connected will drive exponential adoption. As commercial and executive aviation slows down, the speed of The future of business will be the ability to cost-effectively business accelerates. The instantaneous nature of e-mail, webconfer- leverage your knowledge workers around the world wherever encing, and instant messaging have reset expectations of turn-around their geographical location, connecting them instantly with a lifelike times for decisions. Waiting days or weeks to huddle the team doesn’t experience and providing familiar and contextual tools to easily cut it anymore. The need to improve productivity and time-to-market collaborate with colleagues, partners, vendors and customers. This advantage becomes even more paramount in the face of nimble experience will be as natural and comfortable as if everyone was international competitors who compete with third world labor costs in the same room. and first world technology. 4
  5. 5. Understanding the Hard, Soft and Opportunity Cost of Physical Travel on Senior Executive Time Understanding the Hard, Soft and Opportunity Cost of Physical Travel on Senior Executive Time The expense of physical travel can be measured in several Bristol, UK, and Los Angeles, California, are 5,350 actual air different ways: First, the hard costs: Airline tickets/executive aviation, miles apart as the crow flies. hotel rooms, dining, rental cars, car services and taxi cabs. the cost of the executive’s time while in transit, etc.. • Flying at the G IV’s recommended long range speed of 452 knots or 521 mph makes the flight 10 to 11 hours if you fly non-stop . . . Oppor tunity Cost Then the soft costs: The wear and tear on personnel, • . . . but you can’t since the G IV’s range is only 4,350 Nautical A term used in economics the lost productivity of being Miles, so you’ll need to tack on another 2 hours minimum for to describe the often hidden inaccessible to colleagues and landing and refueling. cost of choosing one course away from information and of action over another. The corporate resources. • That makes the total flying time 12-13+ hours minimum trapped opportunity cost is the cost in the flying tube. Each Way! of the next best alternative use of the same time and And let’s not forget the • Flying commercial would take 16 to 19 hours if the gods of travel resources. The opportunity most overlooked cost: the smile upon you. cost of physical travel is the opportunity cost of doing value of what could be accom- whatever it is you would have • I wasn’t able to find any flights between Los Angeles and Bristol plished during the time spent been doing while you and your with less than two stops each way, multiplying the chances of a preparing for, in transit and/ team are out of the office, in delay or missed connection. or recovering from a trip. transit and/or jet lagged. When I was with TeleSuite Corporation we once received a call from a senior technologist at a Fortune 1000 company whose CEO was: “Sick of Flying Around on his Private Jet” If you really think about it, it doesn’t matter if you’re relaxing in the sumptuous leather seating of the $25MM Gulfstream IV that this particular CEO is reported to own, or wedged into a middle seat in the steerage section of a commercial 747. Much of the pain of physical travel is the same: Time away from the family and friends, lost productivity, jet lag, delayed/cancelled flights and the opportunity cost of being trapped in a flying aluminum cylinder 40,000 feet above the ground. I had just joined TeleSuite as a new employee when this company called and had only heard the generalities of the CEO’s pain from the other members of the executive team. Later, I’d learn more of the specifics: The CEO spent hundreds of hours flying between Los Angeles and Bristol, England in a single year to complete a multi-million dollar project and cement what would become a very profitable ongoing collaborative relationship with a strategic par tner. Now he was looking for telepresence solutions that would allow the company to leverage its talent around the world without extensive physical travel. Still, were the costs and pain of physical travel really bad enough to merit betting millions on deploying tele- presence? Let’s crunch some numbers on the situation and see: 5
  6. 6. Telepresence, Effective Visual Collaboration and the Future of Global Business at the Speed of Light Now let’s look at the money involved for executive aviation: company) and takes three weeks of vacation a year, his direct employment cost to the company is around $4482.44 an hour, or • While Gulfstream discontinued the G IV in 2002, the base replace- more than the $3,935 an hour cost in Direct Operating and Annual ment cost of its upgraded replacement the G450 is $34 MM. Fixed Costs for 400 hours of flying time. • The G550 is $45 MM. Let’s assume that physical travel takes the same toll on CEOs as it does on other mortal men. Jetlag, take-offs/landings and the • Assuming the aircraft are leased for the tax advantages, the need for food and sleep leaves them with 50 percent of their time back-of-the-napkin calculations on the monthly payments for a in the air for getting any work done. Factor in a loss of 100 hours 60-month lease of the $34 MM G 450 with a $1.00 buyout are per year of productive work in the case of our 200 hour frequent over $670K a month. flier and the hard cost of the lost time attributable to physical travel in the cost of employment alone in this one example is $448,244 • That $34 MM is the base cost for unpainted “green” planes with (and we haven’t even touched on the cost for the rest of the unfinished cabins. Completing the exterior and cabin can add executive team, managers, and employees). $3-5MM depending on the options. Travel is hard physically, stressful, and especially inconvenient • Even bargain hunting in the “previously owned” section of the lot for families. Many CEOs are already wealthy and if they ever tire of is almost as expensive. One 2001 G IV in Las Vegas recently listed hauling themselves around the world, they can take all their chips, for a fire-sale price of $28MM with “MAKE OFFER — MUST go home and leave the board of directors to deal with investor SELL!!!!” emphasized in the ad. uncertainty, loss of momentum and an expensive Heidrick and Struggles search. • Tack on the direct operating costs of the G IV including fuel, airframe and engine maintenance, charts, catering and landing So, while road warriors suffer the physical and mental pain of fees (estimated at $2,475 an hour on the OmniJet Trading physical travel, shareholders pay an even higher price in addition to Website) and the cost of ownership really starts to climb. the hard and soft costs of executive aviation and the employees’ time. The hidden cost of physical travel is that often overlooked • Next, add the Annual Fixed Costs that OmniJet estimates at opportunity cost of keeping the executive team, managers and $540,000 a year including crew salaries, hangar costs, insurance, employees trapped in an aluminum tube for hundreds of hours a training and modernization. year. Potential lost revenue to the company: staggering. • That brings the total estimated annual budget for flying the G IV Put quite simply, the true cost of keeping employees up in 400 hours a year (or 16 round trip flights between Burbank and the clouds are the lost profits from the products and services that Bristol) not including aircraft purchase price or lease payments don’t get researched, developed, tested, project managed, manufac- to $1,584,000 or $3,935 an hour. tured, inventoried, transported, distributed, sold, billed, recognized, and generally moved along through the process as quickly when And we haven’t even touched on the direct cost of the the team is airborne, jetlagged or in-transit between locations. CEO’s time . . . Steve Reinemund, the CEO and Chairman of PepsiCo and an HP Halo customer, has announced a goal of replacing the time that According to the Economic Policy Institute, the average total employees spend traveling internally with time spent meeting with compensation for a CEO in 2005 was $10,982,000. customers and prospective customers. The example seems starkly illustrative of the opportunity cost concept and the benefits of Assuming a CEO works 50 hours a week (probably a fair reducing avoidable internal travel. estimate given the responsibilities of running a Fortune 1000 6
  7. 7. Why Traditional Videoconferencing Fails to Deliver the Goods Why Traditional Videoconferencing Fails to Deliver the Goods “It can’t be done, Tom! videoconferencing’s average usage per endpoint per month barely It can’t be done! I admit moved even as globalization has increased, travel has become more that you’ve made a lot of difficult, the threat of terrorism has grown, and the pace of business wonderful things — things has accelerated? I never dreamed of — but this is too much. To transmit Traditional videoconferencing’s ugly little secret: Many people pictures over a telephone don’t like the experience and prefer not to use it. wire, so that persons cannot only see to whom they are For years the traditional videoconferencing industry produced talking, as well as hear them a variety of spreadsheets, graphs and even interactive tools that — well, to be frank with you, promised substantial hard-dollar ROI based on avoided travel Tom, I should be sor ry to see between a company’s internal locations. Some companies in you waste your time trying to the field estimated additional soft-dollar benefits from improved invent such a thing.” productivity. There was only one problem with the traditional videoconferencing provider’s calculations: — Barton Swift to his son Tom Swift in Tom Swift and his Photo Telephone, 1914 The first mention of electronic visual communications I’ve ever seen is in “Tom Swift and his Photo Telephone,” published in 1914 “But our videoconferencing end-points are by Victor Appleton. The book’s alternate/subtitle, “The Picture that averaging more than 15 hours per month?” Saved a Fortune,” seems especially apropos given the multi-billion dollar stakes in the coming battle to connect the conference rooms, Organizations that use traditional videoconferencing more desktops and living rooms of the world. than 15 hours per month typically do so because: Videoconferencing has been around since 1956, when AT&T • They’ve applied videoconferencing industry built its first Picturephone test systemvii. It has steadily improved “best practices”: Dedicated QoS IP networks; in capability and functionality, but users haven’t exactly universally higher bandwidths; proper environmentals in lighting embraced it. Traditional videoconferencing systems have seen and acoustics; good user training/IT support and dramatic improvements in screen resolution, audio quality, reliability, improved ease-of-use through programmable security and ease-of-use, while the cost of group videoconferencing graphical user interfaces systems have declined dramatically. According to Wainhouse Research, an analyst firm that follows the conferencing industry, • Top down mandates curtailing business travel and/or usage of traditional videoconferencing group systems averages 15 requiring employees to use videoconferencing hours per month per end point. While some organizations do see higher usage, it pales in comparison to the demonstrated usage of • Low ratio of videoconferencing end-points telepresence and effective visual collaboration solutions. to employees Instantaneous, not limited by geography, and allowing communication between multiple parties in multiple locations, videoconferencing should be a “slam dunk” for business communi- Since no one really liked traditional videoconferencing very much, cations. So why does it fail to deliver year after year in connecting they didn’t view it as an alternative to an effective in-person meeting, the world? Why are only a small fraction of meetings done over and didn’t use it nearly as often as the providers projected. videoconferencing, especially important meetings where relation- ships are formed, where body language is as important as what When corporations do use videoconferencing, it is internally, is said, and meetings with partners, clients or prospects? Why has with colleagues only or because there isn’t another option. 7
  8. 8. Telepresence, Effective Visual Collaboration and the Future of Global Business at the Speed of Light The Observant Videoconference Experience Traditional Videoconferencing Companies Going in the Wrong Direction In trying to replicate the experience of a face-to-face meeting, traditional videoconferencing fails the human brain’s smell test The logo of high-definition videoconferencing provider (tiny remote participants, jerky motion, poor audio, limited body Life-Size Communications (whose website refers to its set-top language visible, no eye contact, etc.). In my experience working videoconferencing solution as “telepresence-like”) unintentionally with such systems and talking with psychologists, I believe that it crystallizes one important way videoconferencing goes wrong. The also causes fatigue as the brain tries to process and adjust to two LifeSize logo seems to suggest that the key to achieving a more different experiences simultaneously: realistic experience is by increasing the size of the image in the vertical plane. However, humans have a forward-facing vertical field of view of between 120 and 135 degrees, and a combined horizontal field of view of about 180-200 degrees.viii In achieving a realistic, immersive “Life Size” visual experience, it is actually more important to address the horizontal field of view and peripheral vision. Telepresence providers achieve this with multiple, large format • The Medium (i.e. the observant experience itself: the obvious displays and video walls. LifeSize Communications, which makes a TV set, the 8-inch tall remote participants, the visible camera, the superb high-definition camera and codec, should be focused in the delay, the poor audio quality, the unnatural format, etc) opposite direction: • The Content (i.e. what is being said, the body language of the participants (if visible), etc.) The brain, consciously or unconsciously, objects to this conflict and, quite naturally, resists the experience. As a result, productivity and ROI suffer. 8
  9. 9. Telepresence – What is it and Why Does it Cost so Much Money? Telepresence — What is it and Why Does it Cost so Much Money? About a decade ago, while the traditional videoconfer- So why does telepresence cost so much money? encing industr y was busily working on commoditizing the “plastic-camera-on-the-TV-set-on-the-desser t-car t,” a couple of Answer: Because the human brain is so damn smart! smar t resor t developers in the Caribbean, decided to take a different approach. Herold Williams and David Allen wanted to From the first seconds of life your brain has become give their well-heeled guests an effective way to conduct business accustomed to visual collaboration, with your eyes as “cameras” without having to leave their little slice of paradise. They decided delivering video to the “display” that is your brain. The retina to get the human factors of the meeting right (life-size remote and optic ner ve are actually outgrowths of the brain itselfix, an par ticipants, superb acoustics, culturally correct positioning, the organ with hundreds of millions of neurons devoted to vision. approximation of eye-contact, to name but a few) and then A full 30 percent of the brain’s cor tex is devoted to vision, integrate the electronics around the human experience. They versus eight percent for touch and three percent for hearing.x founded TeleSuite, the world’s first commercially successful Whereas each optic ner ve that carries signals from the retina to telepresence company. Backed by a visionar y investor, Karl Eller, the brain consists of around a million fibers, each auditory nerve and suppor ted by innovative, infinitely patient, early adopter is limited to about 30,000. xi Over your lifetime, your brain has customers such as AOL, 3COM, PricewaterhouseCoopers, developed cer tain innate preferences for communication, with and Cigna, the company’s product averaged 60-130+ hours “video” being its hands down favorite. per month, per site, four to seven times the usage of traditional videoconferencing. Studies have shown that both comprehension and retention are improved when you see information in addition to hearing it. Most impor tantly, some behavioral psychologists believe that 70 percent to 80 percent of communication is non-verbal xii: facial expressions, gestures, posture and eye contact, which the brain processes quickly, naturally and often subconsciously for a richer understanding of what is being communicated than through speech alone. To more closely replicate an in-person meeting and “trick” the brain into accepting the experience, telepresence providers address a range of human factors that traditional videocon- ferencing doesn’t. It’s more expensive, but the more natural, comfor table, immersive experience of telepresence improves the quality and quantity of visible non-verbal communication. TeleSuite Co-founders: David Allen and Herold Williams This superior experience dramatically improves usage, which in turn drives productivity and ROI. This end-user acceptance didn’t come cheap. Flying in the face of the conventional videoconferencing wisdom of the time — stack em’ high and sell em’ cheap — TeleSuite Systems cost (and still cost) hundreds of thousands of dollars per room, with thousands of dollars more in monthly charges per location for private network connectivity, support and maintenance. Telepresence solutions from HP and Teliris can run north of $10,000 dollars per month, per location. Deploying a site to an international location with limited fiber optic capacity can run as high as $40,000+ per month. Traditional videoconferencing desktop solutions range from Visionary Telepresence sub $100 webcams to $3,000 to $5,000 dollars for a dedicated Investor Karl Eller desktop videoconferencing solutions. Telepresence provider Digital Video Enterprises’ true eye contact displays start at $7,500 a piece and their true eye-contact, high-definition Executive Telepresence Solution is almost $30,000. 9
  10. 10. Telepresence, Effective Visual Collaboration and the Future of Global Business at the Speed of Light The Importance of Creating Social Connections features (eyes, ears, etc.). Early in their development, they For over five years, social scientist Dennis Sandow has focus on the whole face and become aware of changes conducted social action research for HP. His work documents indicating displeasure, joy, excitement, etc. Just as in how dynamic social systems create organizational value that face-to-face encounters, Halo opens the biological crosses the boundaries of traditional organizational char ts. pathways required for conversations.” Influenced by Chilean biologist Dr. Humber to Manurana, who focused on intelligent action in social systems where everyone In addition, because social network encounters are face-to-face, accepts each other as legitimate par ticipants, Sandow has Sandow believes that the visual collaboration experience provides a helped HP understand and map the networks that create value level of “stimulus control” where the intensity of the social experience in the organization. elicits a greater degree of focus and active partici- pation than could be achieved in a conference call or webconference. In a whitepaper for HP that Sandow contributed to, he characterized the benefits of the HP Halo Collaboration Studio: While Halo has proven to reduce travel costs, it is also reported to bring new levels of group productivity. As informal social networks begin to meet in Halo rooms, they accelerate innovation, problem solving and project completion. Social capital or group productivity improves for a number of reasons. Face-to-face interactions that occurred quarterly or semi-annually now occur on a daily basis allowing informal social networks to flourish. Travel time and its physical effects on individual productivity are eliminated. Finally, loss of productivity from being away from the home office is avoided, while improved quality of life is realized, both of which contribute to productivity on the job. HP Social Network Map Showing Social Network Ties Across the Company and Around the World When HP started using the Halo Collaboration Studio, Sandow had a front row seat to observe how the technology could improve and accelerate the collaborative process of key social networks to help the organization. In an interview for this paper, Sandow explained why face-to-face interaction is key to effective social collaboration: “Brain research using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has shown that facial recognition stimulates the emotional regions of the brain where agreement, consternation, joy, play, pleasure and seriousness are found. Up until age 2, children focus on specific facial 10
  11. 11. Telepresence – What is it and Why Does it Cost so Much Money? Types of Telepresence Conferencing Solutions Telepresence conferencing solutions can be generally grouped into the following categories: Continuous Presence Group Systems — Continuous Presence Group Systems generally seat four to eight primary participants, though many providers have solutions that can add a second tier of seating to the environment. I believe the group system is the most important format for business because it most effectively replicates the traditional across-the-table business meeting in the usual and customary format with capacity for a traditional executive or project team. Providers include: Destiny Conferencing, HP, Polycom RPX, Teliris, and Telanetix HP - Halo Collaboration Studio Destiny Conferencing / Polycom RPX 408 Series 11
  12. 12. Telepresence, Effective Visual Collaboration and the Future of Global Business at the Speed of Light Telepresence Distance Learning Classrooms — Holding from 18 to 36+ participants in an effective format for classroom instruction, distance learning solutions allow organizations (corporate or educational) to conduct instructor lead, classroom training between their own internal locations and those of other institutions on their effective visual collaboration network. Providers include: Destiny Conferencing, Polycom RPX, Teliris Polycom RPX 400 Series / Destiny Conferencing / MedPresence Teliris GlobalTable VirtuaLive 360 12
  13. 13. Telepresence – What is it and Why Does it Cost so Much Money? Small Group Telepresence Systems — Small group systems are sometimes referred to as “one-to-three” or “one-to-four” person solutions. These solutions are less costly, seat less participants, and can be mobile. The video codec is usually a standards-based traditional videoconferencing codec and systems can be run on a company’s existing network if the proper bandwidth is available and compliment/ improve traditional videoconferencing deployments. Providers Include: ATK, Digital Video Enterprises, ATK I Vision Digital Video Enterprises Telepresence 50 Desktop and Executive Solutions — Desktop and Executive Solutions extend telepresence capabilities to executive offices or home offices improving communications between the executive team and key managers. Providers Include: Digital Video Enterprises Digital Video Enterprises Desktop Telepresence Display Digital Video Enterprises Executive Telepresence System 13
  14. 14. Telepresence, Effective Visual Collaboration and the Future of Global Business at the Speed of Light Specialty Telepresence Solutions and Environments These can include unique telepresence applications: • DVE’s telepresence podium, which can project a life-size and life-like image of a speaker into one or more locations. • The MedPresence MOR 400, which integrates a telepresence capability into an operating room, allowing a surgeon to interact with remote medical students during a procedure. • DreamWorks Vir tual Studio Collaboration solution, which allows for motion picture and animation stor yboarding between sites and film editing. • Research and Development Environments, such as the phar- maceutical company that has used Teliris’ technology to create a vir tual lab environment between remote locations. Digital Video Enterprises Telepresence Podium The MedPresence MM200 is a portable telepresence solution that deploys from its own shipping crate and can be easily set up at remote hospitals, physician’s offices, and/or conference venues. MedPresence MOR 400 14
  15. 15. Telepresence – What is it and Why Does it Cost so Much Money? Delivering Telepresence and Effective Visual Collaboration: The Telepresence Toolkit Telepresence is an art and science of trade-offs: cost versus to them from trade shows or resellers but they fail to mention the performance, quality of environment versus available space, func- fact that the prospective customers are hardly getting what could tionality versus ease-of-use making the experience and quality of be considered an accurate representation of the offering. communication in different telepresence systems vary. Adding to the complexity, many solution elements are the intellectual property of Digital Video Enterprises provides users with eye contact by a specific firm and protected by patent. Nevertheless, most telepres- mounting its products with eye-level cameras behind a piece of ence solutions provide some combination of the following features. silvered glass known as a beam splitter. With the camera hidden from view (another key telepresence concept covered later), Eye Contact the remote par ticipant is reflected off the beam splitter from an upward facing flat screen display. Behind the beam splitter, Eye contact is chief among the body’s non-verbal cues. From an “optical black” background absorbs diffused light, providing infancy, we are biologically drawn to the gaze of our parents, estab- a superior contrast and image to what you’d see if you were lishing a preference for personal communication that continues looking directly at the display. throughout life. Eye contact between humans is physiologically powerful, eliciting changes in blood pressure and heart ratexiii and increasing brain activity.xiv The information transmitted through eye contact is rich and varied: — Eye gaze provides many communication fundamentals, including: feedback, conversational regulation (turn taking), and the expres- sions that punctuate emotion.xv — Mutual eye gaze has been described by psychologists as “the key to the awareness of the thoughts of another”xvi Digital Video Enterprises’ True Eye-Contact Display Persons with strong eye contact are perceived to be more honestxvii, attractivexviii and successfulxix. Conversely, psychologists Destiny Conferencing’s TeleSuite and Polycom’s RPX mount call people with poor eye contact as “gaze-avoidant personalities,” multiple cameras behind a rear projection screen at eye-level, each rated less favorably in the eyes of others.xx camera capturing half the scene. The result for participants seated in the center of the room is an excellent approximation of eye contact, which is lost the further out you sit to the right or left in the environment. Engineered Environments While more sophisticated videoconferencing integrators may address such environmental elements as lighting, acoustical materials, camera placement and the color/reflectivity of furniture, the overwhelming majority of traditional videocon- ferencing rooms do not. Simply sticking a videoconferencing end point in a traditional conferencing room is a recipe for a mediocre experience: — Direct overhead lighting casts a shadow from the brow over the eye socket that the camera magnifies. — A room decorated with strong, saturated colors can clash Traditional videoconferencing systems deliver poor eye contact with the clothing of participants and skin tones, rendering them because the problem of parallax leads participants to intuitively artificial. focus on the eyes of the remote participants and not the camera. I know of several traditional videoconferencing vendors and resellers — Sticking a videoconferencing endpoint at the head of a long that actually place a camera in front of the display (obscuring the conference table assures an unnatural meeting format. view of the remote participants) of the videoconferencing systems they use for demonstrations at their corporate headquarters. This improves the experience for prospective customers who connect 15
  16. 16. Telepresence, Effective Visual Collaboration and the Future of Global Business at the Speed of Light Some telepresence solutions such as Destiny Conferencing’s Conferencing’s TeleSuite, Polycom’s RPX and Telanetix use small lenses TeleSuite, the HP Halo Collaboration Studio, Polycom’s RPX, and concealed in a small opening in the display to minimize the effect. the Teliris GlobalTable solutions, create engineered environments Teliris offers options that hide the camera behind polarized glass and that precisely position participants. Some of the environmental in several of its solutions; Digital Video Enterprises is able to completely aspects engineered environments tackle include: hide the cameras at eye level behind the display. Lighting — Integrated lighting optimized for video and Video Quality positioned to ideally light each position in the environment. Of the many elements that go into an effective visual collabo- Cultural Proxemics — Precisely positioning the seating to ration, video quality remains one of the most important.The quality make the meeting format “culturally correct,” life-size and natural of video transmitted over Internet Protocol (IP) networks depends for both site-to-site connections and multi-site connections. on a number of factors: Mirrored Environments — Creating environments that are • The amount of bandwidth available to the codec identical with the other remote locations in the network. This way, all participants seem to share the same physical space. • The quality of the network over which it is being transmitted Acoustics — Using acoustical materials to improve both • The video resolution of the video codec and camera sound absorption (eliminating reverberation of sound in the envi- ronment), and sound insulation (blocking external sounds such as Telepresence and effective visual collaboration providers conversations in the hallway, outside traffic, or the building’s air improve video quality using a variety of methods: conditioning system). In addition, many telepresence providers have directional audio that makes the sound appear to be coming Increasing Bandwidth — Bandwidth is the measure of the from the direction of remote participants on the screen. amount of information that can be transmitted across a network. The more bandwidth you have, the more visual information you Absence of Visible Technology — Concealing as many aspects can transmit. The majority of deployed traditional videoconferencing of the conferencing technology as possible. Studies have shown that endpoints still use ISDN networks that typically transmit between the even when the brain’s visual cortex has been temporarily shut themselves at about 384K (384,000 bits per second). New current down, the brain can still process detailed visual information subcon- generation IP videoconferencing endpoints are capable of speeds of sciously.xxi Because human beings tend to behave differently in front 768K, 1.54Mbps, 4Mbps, or greater. Destiny Conferencing, HP Halo, of a camera (sometimes referred to as the “documentarian’s curse”), Telanetix and Teliris all use IP networks that provide more dedicated having a camera visible in a conferencing environment reduces the bandwidth than traditional ISDN and the overwhelming majority of comfort level of participants and naturalness of the meeting. Destiny IP videoconferencing deployments. Vendors Deploying Private Network Solutions Vendor/Solution Bandwidth Utilized Bandwidth Deployed Destiny Conferencing — 2 Screen System 1.54 Mbps 2 x T1/E1 — 3.0 Mbps Destiny Conferencing — 4 Screen System 3.0 Mbps 3 x T1/E1 — 4.5 Mbps HP Halo Collaboration Studio Confidential DS3 - 45 Mbps MedPresence — MCR/MOR 400 4.5 Mbps 3 x T1/E1 4.5 Mbps Telanetix — Digital Presence 1 Mbps to 45 Mbps 4 x T1 (6 Mbps) or DS3 Teliris — Standard GlobalTable 2 Mbps to 45 Mbps DS3 - 45 Mbps Teliris — High Definition GlobalTable Confidential Confidential Telepresence Systems — Vendor Bandwidth Recommendations Vendor/Solution Bandwidth Recommendation ATK Services - I Vision 1.5 — 4MB Digital Video Enterprises - Executive Telepesence 1.5MB System, Telepresence 50, Telepresence Podium Polycom RPX — 200 Series 1.5MB Minimum Polycom RPX — 400 Series 3.0MB Minimum 16
  17. 17. Telepresence – What is it and Why Does it Cost so Much Money? Improving Bandwidth — High Bandwidth Dedicated, telepresence, making the cost of delivering a high-bandwidth QoS QoS Private Networks network substantial in those locales. Because of the real-time nature and delay intolerance of interactive video, simply throwing more bandwidth at a video Increasing Resolution codec does not guarantee a seamless picture so many telepres- Video resolution can be defined as the number of pixels across ence providers deploy dedicated Quality-of-Service (QoS) private the width and height of a display. The greater the resolution, the networks to ensure quality. Transmitting video over IP networks sharper the picture. The sharper the picture, the better the visual takes the compressed video from the codec and breaks down the realism, which improves the quantity and quality of the informa- data into packets that are then sent to the remote site(s). There tion received by the brain as the subtle nuances of interpersonal the video is decompressed and displayed on the screen. E-mail or communications become more apparent. These subtle nuances web surfing can tolerate lost, late, or out-of-sequence IP packets include perspiration, a slight grimace, or other nonverbal cues that (known as jitter in videoconferencing parlance), but not real-time might provide a window into the thoughts, truthfulness, motivation video. When IP packets containing video are lost in transit or arrive or comprehension level of remote participants. out-of-sequence, the video codec doesn’t have all the pieces of the puzzle to correctly reassemble the scene, resulting in a jumpy, A higher degree of visual realism also improves the brain’s ability freeze-frame effect. This ruins the immersive experience and “jolts” to suspend disbelief and accept the telepresence experience, letting it the brain back to a state of disbelief. A one-way latency (the time stop focusing on the “medium” and concentrate on the “message.” it takes IP packets to traverse a network and process through the The majority of deployed traditional videoconferencing video/audio codecs) of over 250 milliseconds would result in a systems are limited to providing FCIF resolution -352 x 288 perceptible and annoying delay when remote participants speak. (352 horizontal pixels x 288 vertical pixels) at 15 - 30 frames Because the Internet is a “best-effort” network where no per second. By comparison, standard cable television delivers a packets receive prioritization over any other packets, telepresence resolution of 672 x 384 at 30 frames per second and HDTV solutions need dedicated private networks that ensure extremely delivers 1280 x 720 or 1920 x 1080 at 30 to 60 frames per low latency, packet-loss, and jitter. Much of the developing world, second. Telepresence providers use current generation video such as China and India, doesn’t have abundant network bandwidth codecs including many that are capable of high-definition images of the quality required to support the real-time interaction of to provide a superior picture quality. Vendor/Solution # of people screens People Screen Size & Type Resolution Per Compression People Screen Standard ATK Services I Vision 1-5 50” DVE telepresence display 1024 x 768 H.263/H.264 MPEG-4 Destiny Conferencing TeleSuite 2 4’ x 4’ panels 48” x 43” Rear Projection 2SIF (352 x 576) H.263/H.264 MPEG-4 200 Series Fresnel Linticular scaled to 1024 x 768 Destiny Conferencing TeleSuite 4 4’ x 4’ panels 48” x 43” Rear Projection 2SIF (352 x 576) H.263/H.264 MPEG-4 400 Series Fresnel Linticular scaled to 1024 x 768 Digital Video Enterprises 1-3, 8+ in Multipoint or 40-46” LCD, Hidden 720p HDTV H.263/H.264 MPEG-4 - Executive Telepesence System Switched Presence Camera behind Screen Digital Video Enterprises 1-3, 8+ in Multipoint or 50” Plasma, Hidden Camera 720p HDTV H.263/H.264 MPEG-4 - Telepresence 50 Switched Presence behind Screen Digital Video Enterprises 1, Appears behind Holographic Projection 720p HDTV H.263/H.264 MPEG-4 - Telepresence Podium Podium technology HP Halo Collaboration Studio 3 50” plasma MPEG-2 MedPresence MOR 400 4 4 flat screen or Rear 1024 x 768 2CIF or H.263/H.264 MPEG-4 Projection Video Wall Greater MedPresence MCR 400 4 4’ x 4’ panels 16’ x 32” Rear Projection 1024 x 768 2CIF or H.263/H.264 MPEG-4 Video Wall Greater Polycom RPX 200 Series 2 4’ x 4’ panels 8’ x 42” Rear Projection 1024 x 768 2CIF or H.263/H.264 MPEG-4 Video Wall Greater Polycom RPX 400 Series 4 4’ x 4’ panels 16’ x 42” Rear Projection 1024 x 768 2CIF or H.263/H.264 MPEG-4 Video Wall Greater Telanetix 2 Customer’s Choice 1280 x 360 MPEG-4 Teliris — Standard GlobalTable 2-8 42” up to 100” Flat Panels D1 MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 Teliris — High Definition 2-8 42” up to 100” Flat Panels 720p or 1080i MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 17 GlobalTable
  18. 18. Telepresence, Effective Visual Collaboration and the Future of Global Business at the Speed of Light Audio Quality Audio quality is one of the most underestimated aspects of an simultaneously without losing any of the audio from either effective visual collaboration experience. Telepresence providers location. This level of audio can’t be achieved in traditional multi- strive for a level of acoustical realism that makes remote partici- point videoconferences. Telepresence providers including Destiny pants sound natural and in the room. This realism in a conference Conferencing,Telanetix, and Teliris solve this problem by maintaining depends on a number of factors: direct connections to each location. Latency and Lip Synch — A remote participant’s speech must Spatial Orientation — In a traditional group videoconference, be in sync with the movement of his or her lips. Similar to video with a single microphone and single speaker on each side, it is often quality, high latency will produce a delay in the time between when difficult to immediately determine which tiny remote participant is something is said and heard on the remote end. This is a function speaking, referred to as spatial orientation. A traditional “Hollywood of the quality of the network. Squares”-esque multi-point videoconference exacerbates this problem by making participants even smaller. Most telepresence Audio Quality — As with video quality, the more audio group systems, on the other hand, make remote participants life- information captured and transmitted to a remote location results size, improving the ability to understand who is talking and some in a more faithful representation to listeners. Most telepresence use directional audio to make the sound appear to be coming from providers offer CD-quality audio with good echo cancellation a particular speaker or direction in the environment. in a “full duplex” configuration, allowing both sides to speak Vendor/Solution Audio Quality Audio Features Full Duplex In multi-point ATK Services 64 Kbps 20 KHz 5:1 A/V Destiny Conferencing 64 Kbps 22 KHz Y Digital Video Enterprises Multiple channel audio and voices can emanate — Executive Telepesence System, from the location of the people on the screens Telepresence 50,Telepresence Podium HP Halo Collaboration Studio CD Quality Audio Y MedPresence MCR/MOR 64 Kbps 20 KHz Y Telanetix 128 Kbps 44.1 Studio quality, per channel echo cancellation and Y KHz noise reduction, equalizatin, level compressor Teliris — Standard GlobalTable 256 — 384 Kbps Teliris - Standard GlobalTable - High end Y 20 KHz echo cancellation per vectored channel Teliris — High Definition 256 — 384 Kbps Teliris - High Definition GlobalTable - High Y GlobalTable 20 KHz end echo cancellation per vectored channel Polycom RPX 200 Series 64 Kbps 22 KHz Automatically mixes microphones and other Y audio sources while cancelling acoustic echo’s and background noise. Polycom RPX 400 Series 64 Kbps 22 KHz Automatically mixes microphones and other Y audio sources while cancelling acoustic echo’s and background noise. Ease-of-Use Traditional videoconferencing has long been characterized by — Tightly integrating and simplifying the use of collaborative tools technical complexity, requiring the mastery of often indecipher- in the environment. able remote controls and the assistance of a conferencing or IT professional in the room to set up and start the conference. While — Simplifying the ability to launch ad-hoc calls by providing a touch videoconferencing providers have simplified their controls, most sensitive GUI or intuitive call set up menu. telepresence providers have taken it a step further by: — A fixed camera and display solution that captures the entire scene — Providing concierge services that handle every aspect of eliminating the need to adjust the camera and the annoyance of reservation and call set up. This is an option offered by HP Halo, disruptive panning, tilting, and zooming. Destiny Conferencing, Polycom RPX, and Teliris. 18
  19. 19. Telepresence – What is it and Why Does it Cost so Much Money? As an example: Teliris offers a room availability and scheduling Voice Activated — The remote site that is speaking or spoke option that provides a touch sensitive display outside each GlobalTable last is visible on the screen, leaving the other locations invisible until room that simplifies ad-hoc usage. Having a hallway conversation with they speak. a co-worker and want to bring in Bob in London? Check the avail- ability of both GlobalTable rooms at the door, reserve both rooms Neither approach offers much in the way of replicating the and call Bob in London on his cell phone and ask him to pop in for natural dynamics of a face-to-face meeting. Traditional continuous a quick meeting. presence formats often shrink images so small they prohibit the non-verbal cues so essential to effective visual collaboration. Voice activated formats also negate this benefit by keeping most participants off-screen. Most telepresence providers devote single or multiple screens to each remote location, allowing the key individuals at each to remain life-size or almost life-size. The Teliris GlobalTable touchscreen room availability and scheduling display Scaled Geometric Perspective/Life-Size Participants Most traditional group videoconferencing systems display the image of remote participants to a single 36- to 50-inch monitor. While many videoconferencing providers offer dual displays, the second Illustrative example of a three-site, multi-point meeting using the Teliris GlobalTable display is meant for data, a self-view of your location, or another remote location, not to double the screen real estate. As a result, the single screen reduces the size and warps the proportions of the While group telepresence environments do have their limita- people on the other end.Those non-verbal cues that are so important tions (the number of visible life-size participants is limited to the to communication end up getting lost in the shuffle, limiting the available screens in the environment), the overall experience is suspension of disbelief required to take participants from an observant substantially more natural, comfortable and productive than the experience to an immersive one. Most traditional videoconferencing tiny remote participants of videoconferencing. Some remote systems display users from more than two locations in a format known participants may not be visible on-screen, but all of them have a as “continuous presence,” which makes all participants look like they’re life-size view of the action. Besides, most large-group meetings tend on the title sequence of the Brady Bunch. to be dominated by a small number of speakers anyway. Telepresence providers address the Teliris uses a proprietary concept problem of scaled geometric perspective with called “Vir tualVectoring” to provide realistic large format video walls and multiple monitors, lines of sight and audio direction in a multi- keeping everyone life-size, or almost life-size point meeting. To explain Vir tualVectoring, and in perfect proportion. let’s expand on the three-site GlobalTable meeting above, using some additional Multi-Point Meetings — Conferencing with images supplied by Teliris. Three or More Locations To keep the appropriate orientation Traditional multi-point videoconference between speakers in a multi-point meeting, can be broken into two main formats: GlobalTable participants at each location tell the system where the active participants are Continuous Presence — Each remote sitting. Because Teliris places a dedicated call site is reduced in size and visible on the screen between each site with a specific camera, in with various screen formats of “Hollywood microphone and display for each position, the Squares”. participants are able to maintain their lines of site and the direction of audio when speaking with multiple locations. 19
  20. 20. Telepresence, Effective Visual Collaboration and the Future of Global Business at the Speed of Light The HP Halo Collaboration Studio can connect up to four sites with up to four participants visible at each location. Destiny Conferencing’s TeleSuite System and Polycom’s RPX can connect up to five locations in their 400 series offerings with from two to twelve remote participants visible per screen depending on the model. 20
  21. 21. Telepresence – What is it and Why Does it Cost so Much Money? Switched Presence — a proprietary solution offered by Digital Video Enterprises and ATK Services, switched presence gives each participant a microphone with a small control unit installed under the lip of the table in their group system. Everyone in the multi-site conference can take “the conch” by pushing a single button, which switches the focus of all remote sites to that participant, accompanied by a quick screen fade. This way, each participant appears life size and appears to have eye contact with all participants. Data Collaboration Digital Video Enterprises / ATK switched presence control unit Data may enter a visual collaboration environment from a laptop, USB flash drive, CD, piece-of-paper or other physical object, such as a circuit board. To handle all this input, telepresence environments use a variety of tools, including: Collaboration Screens — All providers of group telepresence systems provide screens for sharing power point slides, documents or the output from document and object cameras. Placement of the screens differs in each environment. Teliris GlobalTable Data Collaboration Screen Destiny Conferencing, Polycom RPX and MedPresence provide 17” monitors between each two seats Telanetix Digital Presence System has data collaboration on the outside screens 21
  22. 22. Telepresence, Effective Visual Collaboration and the Future of Global Business at the Speed of Light Plug and Play Data Collaboration — Many telepresence providers simplify sharing data between locations by providing a plug and play VGA connection that lets participants connect a laptop for easy sharing between locations. Document Replication — Teliris offers a document replica- tion system that automatically scans, distributes and prints hard copies of physical documents to all locations in a conference. Teliris Document Replicator HP Halo Collaboration Studio’s Plug and Play Data Collaboration Document and Object Cameras — The HP Halo Studio and ATK’s I Vision offer a ceiling mounted high resolution, high magnifi- cation camera that lets users share documents or physical objects on the studio’s 50-inch collaboration screen. The magnification and resolution are high enough to show detail as fine as printed circuit boards or garment stitching. 22 HP Halo’s High Resolution, High Magnification Document Camera
  23. 23. Telepresence – What is it and Why Does it Cost so Much Money? Stand Up Presentation Capability — The Teliris GlobalTable Vir tuaLive 360 telepresence environment offers an optional stand-up presentation capability which can capture a speaker at a lectern and display the speaker behind lecterns at the other remote locations. The environment can also capture par ticipants at a whiteboard or an optional stor yboarding capability for the motion picture and animation industries. Teliris GlobalTable VirtuaLive 360 With Stand-up Presentation and Lectern Option Reliability, End-to-End Service and Service-Level Agreements their solutions as an end-to-end service backed up with a Service Level Agreement covering: System Availability, Network Availability Telepresence doesn’t offer a lot of productivity advantages if the and Network Quality including packet loss, latency and jitter. system doesn’t work. Every time. In every location. Around the world. Various components of end-to-end service typically include: Complicated telepresence solutions entail the management and monitoring of multiple, complex sub-systems. These can include: Site Survey — A review of the architectural, facilities, networking, delivery, and installation logistics of each site. This is • Video and Audio codecs especially important for engineered environments that may require • Acoustical components modifications to the facility to accommodate the environment. • Echo-cancellation • Multiple microphones and speakers Telco Provisioning — Handling every aspect of provisioning • Network links the network to each location. • Local loops provisioned by a telecom provider • Long-haul transport Proactive Monitoring and Remote Management — Actively • Network equipment co-located around the world and continuously monitoring the quality of the network and status • Network premise equipment of the devices with the ability to remotely diagnose and trouble- • IP Routers/Switches shoot any problems. • Display Systems • Flat panel displays and DLP projectors with bulb life issues Concierge Services — The ability for any participant to access • Reservation Systems an “operator” that can place a call, assist with a reservation, explain • Gateways to off-network IP and ISDN traditional videoconfer- the collaborative tools or bridge in a telephone participant or encing end-points legacy videoconferencing end-point. The sub-systems listed above are a small sampling of the Equipment Maintenance and On-Site Repair — Burnt-out various technical elements that can comprise a group telepres- bulb in Burma? Mangled microphone in Malaysia? Cracked camera in ence solution. This complexity and interdependence is one of the Calgary? Many vendors, including Destiny Conferencing, HP, and Teliris, reasons the majority of group telepresence system providers offer offer equipment maintenance and on-site repair around the world. 23
  24. 24. Telepresence, Effective Visual Collaboration and the Future of Global Business at the Speed of Light The ROI of Telepresence and Effective Visual Collaboration So while traditional videoconferencing systems long promised Business Effectiveness — Increased Utility, substantial Return-On-Investment (ROI), much of that ROI never materialized because the systems weren’t used. This section looks Greater Productivity, and Improved Outcomes at the substantial improvements in usage of telepresence systems over traditional videoconferencing and then the savings and benefits that become possible because they are actually used. Measuring and Understanding Telepresence and Effective Visual Collaboration Usage Like traditional videoconferencing, the usage of telepresence solutions is dependent on a number of factors: “I think the Halo room in the short time we’ve had it has already increased my team’s efficiency.You have to understand • The size, geographical distribution and business of the organization how we work.We have a large contingent of people in Chicago, another large contingent in Dallas and a fair number of people • Firms with geographically dispersed knowledge workers in New York and those people literally traveled every day collaborating on software or pharmaceutical development between those three sites - and that’s travel. Our expectation are naturally heavier users than, say, a mining company or is that this type of travel will virtually stop.” textile manufacturer, where the majority of employees are -Steve Reinemund, CEO and Chairman of the Board, PepsiCo engaged in manual labor. • Large multi-national firms with offices scattered over multiple Increased Utility international time zones tend to use their systems across off-peak hours driving additional usage. The poor quality of the videoconferencing experience has traditionally limited its usage to primarily lower importance intra- • Whether or not the system is open to all employees or reserved company meetings. Very few organizations would ever consider for management. having a Board of Directors’ session or an important meeting with a customer using traditional videoconference. And if they • The total number of telepresence sites an organization has and have, the outcome was likely limited. The quality of telepresence the total number of legacy videoconferencing systems to which has expanded the utility of visual collaboration to applications and the telepresence systems can connect. types of meetings previously beyond consideration for traditional videoconferencing users. Some examples: With that said, how do the major telepresence group system vendors stack up with traditional videoconferencing’s 15 hours per • DreamWorks’ Virtual Studio Colloboration initiative lets the month, per endpoint? company conduct virtual storyboard sessions between various campuses and Aardman Animation, a joint venture partner, in • Destiny Conferencing, who also manufactures the similar Polycom Bristol, UK. DreamWorks credits the use of telepresence with its specified RPX, reports some customers averaging as many as ability to ramp up from producing one animated feature a year 200 hours per site, per month. to its current pace of two animated features a year, effectively doubling its revenue potential each year. • HP, whose 20 active internal Halo Collaboration Studios make up the largest deployment of telepresence sites in the world, has • UBS and Oppenheimer used TeleSuite’s publicly available virtual systems averaging up 200 hours per month with some hitting meeting center at the Waldorf=Astoria to meet with private 275 hours per month. investors at another publicly available TeleSuite at the Ritz- Carlton in Phoenix. The companies’ mutual fund and portfolio • Some of this usage is assumed to be demonstrations for managers could present to, answer questions from, and develop prospective customers a rapport with the remote investors. Some of these events were catered and one concluded with a virtual wine tasting. • Teliris reports average usage at 60 percent of capacity during a • HP, utilizing its own Halo network, transferred a production line 10-hour business day or 120 hours per month, per location. from its R&D beginnings in Corvallis, Oregon to its permanent home in Singapore. According to HP, the usual timeframe for such a move is 12 months, with multiple trips between locations. The HP team responsible for the move estimated that its use of Halo enabled it to shave six months off the project and avoid 44 international trips. 24