Consumer telepresence is a set of technologies that enables users to feel they are “present” during videoconferences. Telepresence has the potential to break down the consumer dissatisfaction that has been prevalent with video telephony. Telepresence solutions share common traits, including: life-size (or near life-size) image displays, high-quality audio, full-motion video capabilities and a minimal camera-to-eye angle to provide virtual eye-to-eye contact. Telepresence systems are being driven by the enterprise market through companies such as Cisco, HP and Polycom. Consumer telepresence creates a greater challenge than its enterprise counterpart. While an enterprise system can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and may require an environment that is ad hoc, a consumer system will need to embrace a variety of environments in which the majority of costs can be absorbed in other home devices, such as high-definition television (HDTV), broadband and home theater sound systems.
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