In January 2006 I wrote about the promise of telepresence, which is high definition, room-encompassing, virtually-there video conferencing. Today I tried it and it’s great. 

I attended a KM meeting today at the DC office of DLA Piper, hosted by my friend and former colleague Jean O’Grady. Jean thought our small group would appreciate seeing the firm’s relatively new Cisco telepresence system in action – and indeed we did. (It’s not KM but hey, even KM professionals know cool tech when they see it.) She thinks DLA is among the first large law firms using it across several offices.

True to my reading, it’s like people elsewhere are right there. The rooms two rooms seemed to merge. The woman in Chicago was crystal clear. When I asked her to hold up her Blackberry and I held up mine, the person sitting a few seats from me (in DC – now you have to be clear in which location you mean!) could see each equally clearly. There is no jerky motion and the sound is crystal clear. It’s easy to connect and display a computer screen (e.g., PowerPoint).

Jean commented that the transition from conventional video to this is “like going from a Gramophone to an iPod.” I couldn’t agree more.