Sunday, March 01, 2009

Telepresence for Consumers

We all know that there is a huge market opportunity for telepresence at the enterprise level. From what I have heard, telepresence is the fastest growing product line at Cisco and John Chambers: CEO will continue to push telepresence as it's one of the top 5 corporate initiatives. In fact, John Chambers has said that his own company hosts 4,000 telepresence meetings per week!

What about the consumer market?

Is there a place for telepresence in every consumers home?

I've mentioned in past blogs that it will only be a matter of time before telepresence goes downstream and is available at the consumer level. What about those that already have an HDTV and don't want to spend extra money for telepresence? What I want to see is some sort of internet connectivity device that I can easily add on to my existing HDTV...essentially telepresence-enabling my HDTV but also providing some basic computing capabilities like a hard drive and applications.

Imagine if you were booking a vacation with a travel agent and you used your telepresence-enabled HDTV so you could see the travel agent as if you were there. Have trouble with your cable TV, well you could call a tech rep and explain the situation as if the tech rep was at your house. What if you are feeling sick? You could call your doctor with your telepresence-enabled HDTV. The doctor could even ask you to stick your tongue out and do a quick diagnosis as to if you should come into the hospital now or later.

This is all going to happen!

Surfing the internet, chatting with friends, watching internet videos from YouTube or, leveraging VoIP and a webcam, all from my couch and on my HDTV that's telepresence-enabled. A wireless keyboard and I'm set!

It's only a matter of time before this happens!!!

David Chao
The Web Conferencing Expert