What is the concept behind Teliris?
Video-conferencing technology falls short of perfection – people prefer to fly rather than use the systems they’ve bought. At Teliris, we have developed interactive telepresence technology that will dramatically reduce the need for business travel. We analysed all the ingredients that make up a face-to-face meeting, such as eye contact and body language. We set ourselves the challenge of replicating these. The key message is that telepresence does not deliver a technology system requiring you to change the way you think and behave.
Your biggest challenge thus far?
It’s been on two fronts – technology and marketing. So many corporate executives are fed up with conventional video-conferencing that it was a battle to get them interested in the concept. We needed to get our foot in the door, change their mindset and show that people should not be slaves to technology. And we’ve done this by proving the concept. Vodafone now use it as a direct result of Christopher Gent coming in to see it.
How does it work?
We are replicating a normal meeting environment between offices thousands of miles apart, with permanent 24/7 availability. It’s a fixed installation, there is no detectable sound delay and you can look directly into the eyes of the person you are talking to. Everyone can shout and argue at the same time and still be heard. If anything goes wrong, we can fix it remotely using a laptop.
Will the service be affordable for SMEs?
The cost of all capital equipment, installation, remote diagnostics and a full service agreement can be wrapped up in a single monthly cost. On the small company front, we are in talks with people to set up a rental-based offering. This will be hugely cost-effective for SMEs – we’ll be handing them back days taken up with jet lag.