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 engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.