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By Marjorie Gorospe INQUIRER.net IMAGINE talking to someone in a con ference room, but that person is in a different country, in a different time zo ne. Sounds familiar? Well, if youâre used to online chats and web cameras, this technology might not be that impressive until you see it âlive.â Telepresence combines several technologi es that allow you and remote participants to conduct virtual conference as if y ouâre in one room. Sounds like science fiction? It is a virtual âin-person experience,â and aims to be life-like because it use s high-definition streaming video, high-quality audio that creates a more inter active environment. Ciscoâs telepresence is designed to let people use other non-verbal means to co mmunicate, such as gestures. A telepresence setup includes purpose-built office furniture, which incorporates cameras and displays, lighting, speakers, microphones and projecto rs. In a recent briefing, I saw this setup in Ciscoâs office in Makati. During a demonstration, Ciscoâs Managing Director for Emerging Countries Christ ian Hentschel and Peter Bocquet who were both in Singapore engaged us about thi s technology. Telepresence aims to simulate a natural office environment, where people can st ill talk face to face even though theyâre oceans apart. Cisco says telePresence is now being used by multinational companies, such as P rocter and Gamble. Hentschel says that telepresence is attracting global businesses since it is a more convenient and cost-effective means to hold meetings without the need to t ravel. âIt cannot replace personal relationships but when it comes to businesses, tele presence is the best platform,â the Cisco executive says. Currently, telepresence technology is mainly used by businesses. It would be good if this technology would soon become accessible to everyone. I was thinking that the overseas Filipino workers would stand to benefit from th is in the future.

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