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Telepresence & High Definition Smackdown

Anytime there's a party invitation our ears perk up. And when there's a "gala" we're even more jazzed because it's going to be a classy celebration. A gala, from Old French meaning "rejoice," is what we're alerting you about today, and it's followed by a hard-hitting smackdown!

All the rejoicing at the heart of the forthcoming gala is evidently about a question posed: Why do we need Telepresence when we have High Definition?

(We hear the collective groan of science fiction writers, robot designers, multimedia artists, virtual reality pioneers, and haptic technology specialists who lament the loss of the original and far-reaching term "telepresence" that's been stolen from them and watered down to sell videoconferencing systems designed in parking lots, promoted weirdly, and targeted to elite CEOs so they may "never require the use of a jet again!" Even the Wikipedia definition of telepresence has been recently edited and radically neutered and diluted to probably suit corporate marketing interests of high-end videoconferencing systems. Truth = the last edit! ...Indeed, read this drivel recently posted on Wikipedia for the term telepresence: "Telepresence is a matter of degree... Even the fairly simple telephone achieves a limited form of telepresence." Puhleez. It all goes back to the phone, especially when telepresence to some is just one GIANT PHONE!!!. You might as well call Dixie Cups stringphones telepresence. )

On Wednesday, March 28th WR's Point Nine User Forum is having an all-day meeting to address this Telepresence/High Definition question at AOL's headquarters in Dulles, VA (with a complimentary tour of AOL's videoconferencing facilities). Says the invitation, "The meeting is open to all end-user, conferencing and collaboration professionals."

The weird thing is the "gala" is happening the night before this all-day session, not after. Don't you have a gala and rejoice after you've worked and shared knowledge and opinions about so-called telepresence and high definition? What's up with that?

The invitation has this tidbit which may explain things: "This round-table meeting will be highly interactive with open and forthright discussion. We encourage all managers of conferencing technologies to come to this hard-hitting session."

Aha! There's going to be "forthright discussion" and it's going to be a "hard-hitting session." No wonder the gala precedes this impending brawl. People might not rejoice after a riot. But we think that the hard-hitting roundtable slugfest should be held in the format of a steel cage match format to answer this telepresence/HD question. No one gets out until the question is fully and finally answered.

(Our question would have been, "What's the difference between Telepresence video and High Definition video?" Is the answer: "Telepresence has a higher definition?" If that's true, why call "High Definition" High Definition? Or maybe just call telepresence High Definition. We still don't fall for get the solipsistic jargon in the new coat of videoconferencing paint with these improved systems. Buy hey, rock on; we love steel cage matches!)

Wainhouse Research organizes excellent conferences and summits (with great ), and we encourage our readers to check out this main event with WR referee Richard Norris. Information and registration is here. We're sure there will be "folding chairs" there so you might want to bone up on some moves for this smackdown.


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