A panel discussion that the Twitterverse is no doubt interested in – check out the Twitter cred of the participants.

  • Robert Scoble (Fast Company)
  • Guillaume Cohen (Veodia)
  • Gary Griffiths (LiteScape)
  • Loic Le Meur (Seesmic)
  • Alain Mowad (Polycom)

The panelists introduced themselves and their businesses/offerings. The panel ranges across the spectrum from super hi quality Cisco Telepresence systems down to Seesmic for low quality ad hoc solutions like Seesmic.

Loic Lemeur announced that Twhirl will include video within the next two weeks. He discussed the fact that video allows relationships to be formed around the world without actual presence – it brings people closer together.

Robert told of WalMart’s ability to buy fabric internationally over video conferencing the quality is so high.

Cohen tells of the savings that video conferencing brings – gas, time, environmental etc. People can work remotely easily – so long as the video integrates tightly with their existing workflow processes – people feel more comfortable giving feedback over video than "in the flesh". Veodia does all the hard work in the background and serves up one button for users to push – delivering up the best quality that the connection available can give.

Mowad says that Polycom is much more focused on real time video sharing – gives examples of tele-medicine and tele-education.

Questions from the floor…..

What are the coolest things the tools could have?

  • Someone who has video on 24hrs a day when she works remotely – a sense of intimacy when they’re not there
  • How do you create a technology that becomes so immersive that one feels that they’re "really there"
  • Video brings an experience as close as possible to real life
  • Video enables Seesmic to run an international development team with real time collaboration

How can video-conferencing work when their are larger teams?

  • Remote controlled monitors that move depending on who is talking!
  • There’s a threshold beyond which video conferencing just doesn’t work – 9 or 10 people perhaps?
  • There is a perception of presence – the host of offerings – audio, video, IM etc build up a feeling of intimacy that means that the group feel together – even if the camera is focusing on someone else at the time

Discussion ensued about the fact that going forward the ability to catalogue the audio from a video stream – allowing for searching and text string recognition.

All in all an interesting panel – I guess it’s all about context and preference – I’m a text guy and that’s my preference – others work in images.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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