CISCO, the technology company, has just launched a new virtual meeting tool which it hopes will replace typical video conferences links. The product competes directly with Hewlett Packard’s “telepresence” technology which some people say is so realistic they even try to shake hands with people in the meeting. These new technologies use the Internet to transmit high definition TV onto specially positioned screens in meeting rooms. Apparently, users feel as though their colleagues are in the same room, even though they may be thousands of miles away. However, participants will know their colleagues are not present. Technology companies are always excited by technology and often fail to see the human side until non technology companies start to use the products. Knowing someone is present in the room with you involves more human senses than just seeing and hearing. You can smell them, feel their physical movement and touch them. Until telepresence can do all that, it will always be inferior to actual meetings.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+