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Bell Labs Builds Cheap Telepresence 'Robots' 65

schliz writes "Alcatel-Lucent's research arm, Bell Labs, is building low-cost robots that represent remote participants in meeting rooms. Researchers hope it will address the issue of the natural, non-verbal 'voting mechanism,' by which people determine who should speak based on who most people are looking at. The technology will likely be priced in the 'hundreds of dollars,' rather than the tens of thousands that the likes of Cisco and Polycom charge for high-end telepresence rooms."
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Bell Labs Builds Cheap Telepresence 'Robots'

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  • by arkenian ( 1560563 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @01:59AM (#37970880)
    actually, I can totally see the point of what they're trying for. The absolute most difficult part of a teleconference is managing when/how people speak, and all the nonverbal cues we use in 'real' meetings to handle this. Videoconferencing doesn't usually fix the issue if you've got more than two sites. Some sort of reliable technology that could give me real non-verbal feedback as to what's going on in a meeting for managing speakers would be awesome. Though I have a hard time believing that any system could currently really achieve anything that wasn't just another approach to strictly-moderated (which you can do just fine with text-chat during a telecon)

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