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Inside the Cisco Telepresence Area at TED@PalmSprings

Posted by: Matthew Trost

Marianne and Marina of Cisco Systems gave the TEDBlog an inside look at their amazing TED Telepresence Area, featuring the System 1000, which piped in crisp, seamless high-res video to Palm Strings from an identical area in Long Beach, CA to a 65 inch screen — with no noticeable delay.

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Building this new system had its challenges, but the biggest was working around the data network in the United States, which, unlike systems in some other countries like Japan, is rather fragmented. In order to provide seamless, instantaneous telepresence across hundreds of miles, they used the DS3 carrier, whose data rate is 44 Mbit/s.

The TEDBlog asked Cisco where telepresence was going to be in 20 years. They predicted it would go to the consumer market in as few as five years. They foresee their consumer model, the 500, acting as a tool for families everywhere to connect over long distances.

What does Cisco see as the most exciting emerging technology? The saturation of our world with instantaneous video technologies. They see instant, high-res video connections via mobile devices just around the corner. However, they do warn us of the dangers — we may see a spike the rate of pedestrian collisions.