When done properly, the technology fades away and lets the experience shine
Eugenie Bouchard was surrounded by fans. Half the group stood around here in a pavilion on the grounds at the Rogers Cup Tournament in Toronto, the other half connected through a massive digital display behind her. She sat in the middle and took questions, in both french and english, taking time to respond to each fan by facing them — even if that fan was in Montreal — 500km away.
Media gathered in a press room in Montreal, waited for Rafael Nadal to appear. Another group started to congregate in front of a video screen in Toronto. Both are covering the same event, both have the ability to ask Nadal questions. Nadal can see the questions being asked from both cities and is able to respond in the same way to both cities, but speaking to the journalist face-to-face.
We typically think of Telepresence as room-to-room, corporate meetings where users address each other from separate boardrooms. The examples showcased at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Montreal in Toronto highlight additional possibilities. Jeff Seifert, chief technology officer at Cisco Canada, the company responsible for the video setup, said life-size video like that being used for the fan experience at Rogers Cup is spontaneous, much like a typical face-to-face conversation.