Afraid of getting SARS during business travel? Don't like to make those pesky conference calls or video conference calls. Airfare too expensive or are you afraid of flying? "Face to face" is the only way you do business? Well then, try HP's new robotic telepresence. Yes, you could have your own Avatar and be in two places at one time. Your surrogate avatar doppleganger could give a command performance in a conference room and let you virtually be there when you can't be there. The robot has a LCD screens to project images of your face and it can transmit and receive sound and video back to you via cameras and very sensitive microphones so you can hear those who are whispering about you or your avatar. The controller has a joystick so that you can direct your attention around the room. HP used to allow the avatar to move around the room, but for now they made it stay in one place, I guess they didn't want a klutzy avatar tripping around the conference room or crushing feet? The avatars are not for sale yet and no estimate on their price. It does have plenty of PCs, speakers, cameras and microphones and other stuff inside to make the price go sky high. If HP can convince executives they need a telepresence, then we may begin to see executives have bots in their boardroom?
More articles: Cnet: Bots to the boardroom, Business Week: Bots to the boardroom, Sci Fi Today: Telepresence in Business Meetings, Ft.com: Robots take strain out of executive meetings, Business Wire: Travel Robot.