Teleconferencing - free global phone - video no extra charge!

Teleconferencing - free global phone - video no extra charge!

Photo and caption is (c)2006 The Haralson Gateway-Beacon


Postscripts added after Spring 2006

West Georgia Regional Library system deployment

Informal experiment of April 2007

More Business Travelers Now Teleconference... (Wall Street Journal - Feb. 18, 2010)

The era of extensive, expensive corporate travel may be over... Newell Rubbermaid Inc... which has annual sales of more than $5 billion and is active in about 90 countries... is among the companies that have changed their ways. It slashed its travel budget 28% last year and aims to keep travel costs flat in 2010... In addition, the use of videoconferencing rose 136% last year.

While there may be multiple reasons that young people in the US are driving less these days, it is not unreasonable to imagine that, as the most enthusiastic users of the consumer Internet, they are especially competent at discovering how to substitute communications for transportation.

In a survey to be published later this year [2011], Gartner found that 46 percent of people 18 to 24 would choose access to the Internet over access to their own car. Only 15 percent of the baby boom generation would say that, the survey found... in 1978, 50 percent of 16-year-olds in the United States obtained their first driver�s license. In 2008, only 30 percent did... Those who get a license now drive less, too. The Transportation Department says 21-to-30-year-olds now drive 8 percent fewer miles than they did in 1995.
- source: The New York Times, Nov. 20, 2011

Entering the high-tech telepresence era very soon...

We are entering... a high-tech era... It's going to be... a determining factor around the world in a very short period of time... because high technology can be made cheap and it can be spread around the world very fast. And this has a wonderful potential for relieving... the pressure which humanity puts on the world and making our lives easier. Of course, one obvious one is the dispersed work-place; that's already occuring in the United States. Another one is... teleconferencing... which once it gets to the point where it is easy, accessible, and very realistic... can replace an awful lot of jet miles... bringing people together just for a conference, as opposed to having a beer together, or using it as an excuse to travel to an interesting city... And... so... with the potential for dispersion... through workplaces that are at -least- as efficient as ones that are centralized in the traditional urban structure... and the choice that that gives to people to live in an urban environment, a suburban environment, -or- well out into a more natural environment, that has the potential for changing America, moving it in the right direction. It gives people choice, it gives them a greater opportunity for happiness and satisfaction with their work, and it -also- is a tremendous potential benefit to the environment.

...certainly within the next ten years (by 2019)

And now with the technology of telepresence - we can take ya there. We did, er, with National Geographic a few years ago, we did a live broadcast from the deck of the Titanic. And what some day you're gonna actually wire the Titanic and it's gonna be a place you VISIT electronically.

Because telepresence technology - that we're sorta pioneering - is really the beginning of ELECTRONIC TRAVEL. Er, you're gonna have in your home, certainly within the next ten years, a, a, a room - uh we used to call it the DEN - and, uh, when you turn on the room the WALLS will come on, and you'll sit - it's probably spherical, so it isn't square-like walls - but you'll be in a spherical room, and you'll rent a robot from Hertz and you'll go for a drive in the Serengeti and spend the afternoon driving around. And - it'll be very INEXPENSIVE compared to FLYING to the Serengeti.

Um, what's really neat about these installation of remote cameras - we've been doing it in the national marine sanctuaries - particularly Monterrey - we went in, installed underwater cameras on. on cable, so they could RIDE through the, through the, uh sanctuary. And what we found was, when we were installing the cameras - everyone ran away. But as soon as we left - all the creatures came back out, went up and poked their fuh, noses into the cameras. And we were able to see things that DIVERS wouldn't see. And, wuh, you know - this is something you could do in, in Yellowstone Park - you can, lih, lih, uh, go and wire up Yellowstone - they're already got the ring road in there - and you'll be able to see creatures that would normally run away, like the packs of wolves.

So telepresence is really gonna CHANGE our lives. - We're gonna do more and more, uh - FROM HOME. I think what's wonderful about telepresence - cause it's impacting on my PERSONAL life - is it's reinventing the family. You're able to spend much, much more time at home - EVEN in my business of exploration. I'm spending now more time at HOME than any time in my LIFE and I'm exploring more than any time in my life. So, it's a, really a plus-plus.

One decade into the future (2016)...

...[Virtual reality-enhanced meetings] will be very realistic... We've got ten years... This is, you know, how most meetings will take place. You know, the whole technology of buildings, classrooms, lecture halls, cities... is really for aggregating people so that we can get together and communicate. We're going to be increasingly doing that in virtual environments as these virtual environments get more and more realistic... to the point... where they're indistinguishable from real reality. And when we can go inside the nervous system... and do that from inside the nervous system... it will also include the tactile and other senses... and it will really be just like being together.

Our beds are empty two-thirds of the time. Our living rooms are empty seven-eighths of the time. Our office buildings are empty one-half of the time. It�s time we gave this some thought.

- R. Buckminster Fuller

(p. 175, I Seem to be a Verb, 1970)

This page last revised April 2012