What is Telepresence?

Telepresence is a form of remote conferencing in which the participants appear to be physically present in the conference space. Body language cues like eye contact are easily transmitted and interpreted because of the fidelity, size, and position of the images. Both 2D and 3D telepresence have been employed as a means of making it seem as though a user is in a location when they physically are not. This is a technique intended to make collaboration feel more seamless and replicate the benefits of face-to-face communication. Typically, 3D telepresence requires a specially configured space in which to capture a 360-degree image that can then be inserted into a virtual set, and viewed from any angle, but high-definition displays, seamless integration with software and data presentation, and full-surround audio make even 2D telepresence a very immersive experience.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to academic and research libraries?

  • interesting but creepy. Would not want someone "virtually" in the room with me. I'll stick to Skype, Facetime, etc. - dianeb dianeb Apr 9, 2015
  • - david.groenewegen david.groenewegen Apr 10, 2015 I saw a demo of something like this a few years ago, and it was amazingly good at conveying the feeling that you were in the same room as someone who was, in this case, on the other side of the Pacific.I can see some potential for "face to face" training, which is otherwise very hard to scale. We are trying to offer research skills training to hundreds of PhDs now, and doing it in small groups is not efficient.
  • Very immersive experience, instruction, lecture capture could be transformed, student study groups, sharing expereinces, building social belonging in a wired world- DaveP DaveP Apr 14, 2015
  • - Jacqueline.Fritz Jacqueline.Fritz Apr 16, 2015 Virtual reference conducted via our LMS, chat, and email would benefit with use of this technology to assess the student's understanding and interpretation of our guidance. Often assistance is sent out with no feedback in return, leaving us guessing about whether or not the student or faculty member was satisfied with our research guidance.
  • Good thoughts about virtual reference, as well as a way to offer programming, collaborative "lab" practice (think medical interviews?), etc. The creep factor is not a concern for many and shouldn't dissuade exploration and implementation if fitting, especially for students used to already using tech to have presence with each other from afar. - mstephens7 mstephens7 Apr 18, 2015

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • - david.groenewegen david.groenewegen Apr 10, 2015 Seeing this a training tool, rather than a meeting or collaboration tool.
  • Agreed conference can be captured, replayed and even remixed- DaveP DaveP Apr 14, 2015
  • - Jacqueline.Fritz Jacqueline.Fritz Apr 16, 2015 Can objects be telepresent?

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on academic and research libraries?

  • - david.groenewegen david.groenewegen Apr 10, 2015 We're a multi campus university with a presence on three continents. Seems valuable to me as a way of offering more interaction with our users, with less staff.
  • Supporting Viva's - instruction, interviews, reference - possible to see resources, screen etc - DaveP DaveP Apr 14, 2015
  • - Jacqueline.Fritz Jacqueline.Fritz Apr 16, 2015 Use for outreach to multiple campus locations, homebound patrons, professors and students working abroad

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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