Web Conferencing Will Become Far More Natural

In five or six years, commodity Web conferencing will be much more natural:

  • Cameras will automatically pan with you, reliably.
  • Software will find ways of letting you see everyone else in the meeting, including their reactions.
  • There will be a much stronger sense of eye contact and body language.

Meantime, expensive systems will provide higher levels of intimacy. Recently, the concept of telepresence has evolved, where you feel that people are actually present in the same room with you. You see life-size images; there's no pan and zoom; you can walk around and the sound source adjusts as you walk from screen to screen; there are no visible microphones or cameras; and so on.

Two interesting new offerings are from Telanetix and HP's Halo.

... David Ferris

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