What is Telepresence?

Telepresence is a form of remote conferencing in which the participants appear to be physically present in the conference space. Body language cues like eye contact are easily transmitted and interpreted because of the fidelity, size, and position of the images. Several high-profile 3-dimensional demonstrations of the technology have taken place; for instance, CNN made extensive use of the technology during coverage of the 2008 US presidential election. Typically, 3D telepresence requires a specially configured space in which to capture a 360-degree image that can then be inserted into a virtual set, and viewed from any angle, but high-definition displays, seamless integration with software and data presentation, and full-surround audio make even 2D telepresence a very immersive experience.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the museums you know best?

  • No one seems to be doing much with this, but I wonder if we are missing a boat. Audience LOVE hearing directly from artists, and flying artists around is expensive and increasingly hard as they are often busy. So...why not do large screen interviews with them, two-way???? It is not a bad experience for the audience, but I don't know of anyone really trying this. Why aren't we? Okay, it is not really very sexy in technological terms, but at least those of us on college campuses would have something to use those big Internet II pipes for, right?! - john.weber john.weber May 4, 2010
  • another response here

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • your response here
  • another response here

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on education and interpretation in museums?

  • If done well, it could allow us to do more and better education programming more economically and with stronger human content. - john.weber john.weber May 4, 2010
  • another response here

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

Please share information about related projects in our Horizon Project sharing form.