Tandberg Experia Telepresence

OK, this was an interesting day.

I took a trip to Pleasanton, CA (after all the traffic was gone) and met with an old friend, Mark.

He showed me Tandberg’s “Experia” Telepresence videoconferencing system.

Now….you may know my feelings about Telepresence, and you may be surprised to read this about Experia: Wow!

As you can see from the pictures, Experia is very appealing to the eye. There is a very nice curved wooden conference table (with nicely embedded microphones) facing four large screen monitors with cameras mounted on top of each of the three main monitors.

When making a call, the monitor on the bottom kicks in first. The Experia system then handshakes with the called endpoint so they can share their respective capabilities. Once this is complete, the video moves up to the top middle.

After the handshaking, the two systems could have decided on one of three call options:

  1. Experia to Experia
  2. Experia to H.323
  3. Experia to SIP

Even though the video and audio quality of telepresence systems is second to none, I believe the ability to interoperate with H.323 (and SIP) is the most important aspect of Experia and a big Bravo to Tandberg for designing in H.323 (and SIP) interoperabilty!

The pictures below show the connections (in 720p high definition) we made in this very quick demo.

On the top left is Dallas, in the middle are two sun deprived dummies (no offense ) in Oslo, and on the top right is Irvine, CA. The bottom shows a the document camera.

YeOldeTechy says: OK, Telepresence, done right, is a good thing. Interoperability is the key.

The next two pictures show the same connections on the top monitors, but, now showing other endpoints connected via the Codian MCU using H.323. Very cool.

In my past life at ESnet, people could easily call into the Codian from their cell phone if need be. With Experia, a person can be on a train and call into a Telepresence meeting.

Have I said this before? Interoperability is the key.

Speaking of interoperability, I jogged over to the H.323 system and took this last picture from an H.323 endpoint perspective. In this I was able to change the layout simply by pressing the “layout” button on the remote control, very easy.

There is a controller that is wall mounted, but, able to be taken off and, via a wireless connection, allows you control the entire system. In normal operation, the call would be established and the meeting held (never removing the controller). In our case, Mark was showing various options, so he took it off the wall.

Here is a nice marketing piece from Tandberg.

Summary

This was an interesting day indeed. I now see very much more clearly how Telepresence and desktop systems can work together. Very nice and very cool.

Tandberg Experia is a great tool done right! I have new respect for “Telepresence” and how it can be used in a corporate environment.

Suggestion to Tandberg: A moving clock on the walls would be cool….

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