Cisco’s Telepresence conferencing system is as close to being there without being there. The highly-touted (and expensive at $300,000 a pop) technology is prety amazing. Voices are in synch with the video. The folks on either side of the table are life size and natural. Even the conference table in one room melds into the three large plasma screens where you fellow but remote conferees are sitting. I had a chance to demo TelePresense, primary developer of whom is Michael Dhuey, a DN 2007 Engineer of the Year finalist. It’s amazingly natural. Your eyes follow those of the folks on the screens just as if they were in room. One conferee in San Jose (I was in Cisco’s Chicago office) asked me if I had been house painting. Indeed, I had, he picking up a small speck of white paint on my right hand. The only wierd thing is that I felt as if I was being watched. Indeed I was, but that’s something I could get over quickly. Check out the demo.
Better yet, the DN cover story in our October 22 issue about Telepresence, which is getting a lot of attention. The potential for this technology with dispersed engineering teams is enormous (hence, our statement on the cover "how to get back at the airlines"), but what do you think?
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
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