Cisco and HP telepresence offerings

Lots of conversations over the last 24 hours about telepresence. They were triggered by John Battelle’s review of HP’s Halo offering and Charlene Li’s review of Cisco’s TelePresence offering. Both are recommended reading and brought back memories of my first video conference session in the early nineties.

As an early beta tester I accompanied some colleagues to a dedicated facility in Tokyo and our counterparts did likewise in London. Within 3 minutes the novelty wore off and it became immediately apparent that something was amiss. It was a sense of shared presence. John is right to ponder if and when Kinko’s or a peer will take the risk and start rolling out rent by-the-hour offerings.

At circa $500k a room they represent a substantial capital investment and are currently only within reach of large organizations. Speaking with a friend in Pepsi (early adopters of the Halo offering) they are extremely effective and light years ahead of video conferencing. Looking forward to test driving both in the very near future. After doing so I shall share thoughts on both here.