Friday, February 22, 2008

Videoconferencing - The Next Generation

It's not every day that cites The Jetsons as an authority.

It does just that in Teleconferencing Gets Ready for Prime Time, an article published February 22 that heralds the arrival of high-definition videoconferencing as a legal technology solution:

Ever since cartoon character Jane Jetson chatted away on her videophone in 1962, teleconferencing has been on the wish list of just about everybody.

...But finally, Web-based conference technology may be ready for prime time -- thanks to high-definition video and fast, fat "pipes." Advances in large-sized screens, effective systems integration and stronger bandwidth are driving a nascent market for high-end systems where remote participants appear almost to be real, present-in-the-flesh attendees.

A state-of-the-art example is the Cisco Telepresence System 3000, pictured above, which utilizes:

"Three 65-inch plasma screens and a specially designed table that seats six participants on one side of the "virtual table." ...The life-size images and video clarity of the Cisco TelePresence System 3000 allow you to see every expression, while the CD-quality audio allows you to hear every word."

We have long daydreamed about videoconferencing and virtual courtrooms as a possible solution to long wait-times for litigants and counsel in our overcrowded courtrooms.

It appears that the technology is now developing that will ultimately allow this.

At $300,000 per room, the Cisco offering it is not inexpensive, but the cost is beginning to approach competitiveness with brick and mortar alternatives.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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