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Cisco's Chambers Predicts Dawn Of 'Telepresence'

An advanced form of teleconferencing dubbed "telepresence" will become common in a year, Cisco Systems President and CEO John Chambers said Tuesday in a keynote speech at Interop Las Vegas 2006.

Telepresence blends high-bandwidth IP communications into a high-resolution video- and voice-conferencing system. Such solutions will be so refined that users will be able to detect subtle nuances in the responses of other participants and follow them around a room, according to Chambers.

Chambers’ prediction stems from his vision of "the rise of the empowered consumer and employee." Consumer entertainment technology is creating a culture of people accustomed to getting whatever content they like whenever they want and on the devices they choose, he said. As employees, people also are demanding such capabilities in business technology, and the IT industry will respond by delivering high-end forms of business collaboration, he noted.

"Collaboration is going to be the productivity term for the next decade, and the empowerment of the employee base will drive this," Chambers said.

Three factors will drive this revolution in collaborative technology: unified IP technology, IT networks that work as secure platforms for applications and "the complete virtualization of storage, applications and processors," he said.

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