"We ... used the system to recruit a number of candidates, including an executive and several specialty engineers," said Kristen Vacchetto, corporate staffing manager for One Communications. "Using telepresence for the initial screening of candidates located outside of the local area is more economical than travel and a much more effective alternative to a phone interview since executives can assess candidates' facial expressions."
Broadening higher education
Telepresence is also putting education in reach of individuals who might otherwise lack the time or resources to attend classes in person. This creates opportunities for universities, training providers, and other educational organizations to extend the reach of their offerings. It also creates an opportunity for companies to ensure employees can undergo valuable training without having to sap the budget by leaving town for long periods of time.
The University of Queensland, based in Australia, has embraced telepresence in a big way. The university serves close to 38,000 students from more than 110 countries and has around 15,000 staff, 774 buildings, and four major campuses, with another 45 sites throughout Queensland, including two islands in the Great Barrier Reef region. In addition to deploying the largest 802.11n wireless network in the world, the university is deploying the largest tertiary Cisco TelePresence network in Asia Pacific to facilitate international and cross-campus collaboration.
According to the university, the telepresence network will bolster the learning experiences for teachers and students by fostering collaboration between local university campuses and overseas institutions. Ultra-high-definition video telepresence technology will be used across the multiple university campuses to deliver remote lectures and enhance personal contact for students and teachers in the more remote locations. The system will also provide researchers with better mechanisms for collaboration and innovation by disseminating research to extended teams on university campuses and other education and research institutions.
The potential applications and benefits of telepresence are indeed numerous. As system prices continue to decrease and interoperability among equipment from different brands improves, more organizations will embrace the technology. Companies won't miss the high cost of airline tickets and hotel stays. Employees surely won't miss the jet lag.