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Definition: telepresence

Meaning "long distance presence," it refers to a videoconference session that feels like a live meeting. Notable features are multiple screens positioned at one end of the conference table and a high-quality directional audio system. The screens render people life-size or near-life-size, and the audio comes from a loudspeaker near the person talking. Conference rooms may also be designed to optimize the acoustics so that remote participants sound as if they were sitting in the room. Telepresence implies high-definition resolution and ample network bandwidth. See videoconferencing and telesurgery.

Multiple Screens Provide Realism
In this TANDBERG example, the cameras are on top of the monitors, and the loudspeakers are at each end, which simulate a center channel when participants in the middle are talking. The lower monitor is a data channel (see H.239). (Image courtesy of TANDBERG, www.cisco.com.)

Totally Immersive
This system from Polycom (now Poly) comprises four rear-projectors and a 16x4 foot screen. The cameras are behind the screen at eye level, and the speakers are at the sides and top. (Image courtesy of Poly, www.poly.com)

Telepresence Plus Mobility
The Double adds mobility to a visual telepresence. It lets people move around in a remote office almost as if they were there. (Image courtesy of Double Robotics, Inc., www.doublerobotics.com)