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Cisco Enables TelePresence 'Crowds'

Cisco Systems unveiled new functions in its TelePresence products this week that could enable the conferencing equivalent of an overflow crowd.

Cisco introduced a new multipoint switch that makes it possible for a company to set up online conferences with participants from as many as 36 separate locations. A company also can use a new business-to-business feature to extend virtual meetings to include customers, partners and contractors working in offices outside of its own firewall.

Cisco introduced its TelePresence product line last summer ( The product creates a very large videoconferencing environment that simulates a live meeting space.

The company is also adding a function to TelePresence that lets virtual meeting participants share documents including PowerPoint presentations, images and 3-D objects with each other. The Auto Collaborate feature uses a camera to capture the image and display it for attendees on other locations using the projector.

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