Cisco takes telepresence technology to public places

By Matt Hamblen

Cisco Systems Inc. last week said its TelePresence high-end videoconferencing technology is now available for use on a rental basis at a Cisco facility in California and at hotels in Boston, London and two cities in India.

Rooms equipped with TelePresence systems have also been set up for public use at four offices of the Confederation of Indian Industry, a trade group in India. Cisco worked on all of the deployments with Mumbai-based Tata Communications Ltd., which plans to open another 100 videoconferencing rooms in various locations by the end of next year.

Cisco has been selling TelePresence setups, which include high-definition monitors plus cameras and sound systems, to corporate users for the past two years.

But installations can cost $350,000 to $500,000 per room, and Cisco officials said the addition of publicly available rooms is aimed at expanding the market for the technology. Rental costs range from $299 to $899 per hour, depending on the size of the room.

Thus far, the hotels with TelePresence systems are all part of the Taj Hotels chain. The Taj Boston's setup is in a converted guest room on the eighth floor. David Gibbons, the hotel's general manager, said he foresees the room being used by businesses as well as other customers, such as wedding parties that want to connect with guests who couldn't attend their event in person.

In March, Hewlett-Packard Co. announced plans to equip rooms at unspecified Marriott hotels with its Halo telepresence system for rental use. But IDC analyst Nora Freedman said that no such rooms have opened yet. End of article.

This version of the story originally appeared in Computerworld's print edition.

For additional information regarding telepresence, HD video conferencing and audio visual integration call 1-800-224-7083, or click here to have an IVCi Representative contact you.

Invite IVCi to be your friend on Facebook. Follow IVCi on Twitter. Find out what's new in the worlds of conferencing and audio visual technologies at the IVCi Blog. Visit the IVCi YouTube Channel. RSS news feed from IVCi.
Find us on Google+
©2012 IVCi, LLC All rights reserved. All articles, trade names, trade and service marks herein are owned by their respective holders.