February 11, 2009 Chris Payatagool
Written by Vera Alves Gartner expects video telepresence to replace 2.1 million airline seats per year, by 2012, losing the travel industry $ US 3.5 billion.This was one of the top ten predictions that Gartner announced this week in Auckland, during a local briefing where researchers discussed emerging trends and technologies.According to Stephen Prentice, VP and Gartner Fellow, "videoconferencing has changed and telepresence does manage to fool the brain."Both because of environmental and cost-cutting reasons, Gartner expects the adoption of telepresence to be one of the major trends for the near future. "People will be travelling for leisure, not for business," added Prentice.Cisco and HP were the first major companies to launch telepresence suites but the business is still evolving, with Nortel, Tandberg and LifeSize also adding telepresence to their lists of products.
The economic downturn can even be seen as an opportunity for technologies such as this to experience further growth, thanks to the need to cut back on costs.The Cisco offices in Auckland were recently the stage for young players to audition for the Southbank Sinfonia, in the UK, when a panel of judges listened and watched the aspiring New Zealand musicians' 15- minute auditions from the other side of the world."This process represents a world first for the professional music scene and promises to change the way orchestras recruit new players now and in the future," commented Justin Lee, Southbank Sinfonia's Chief Executive.