I came across this absolutely genius concept the other day: Double Robotics.
It’s basically iPad-powered telepresence.
If you’d like to participate in a meeting but you’re 3,000 miles away, you have limited and generally rubbish options:
- Slightly better teleconference with one of those Polycom units
- Skype, but that doesn’t work well if everyone’s in a meeting room
- A $500,000+ Cisco style telepresence unit (or one of their cheaper $2,000 desk units)
The big telepresence suites are nice, when they work.
But I think we’ve all been hunting for another option. A realistic alternative is proposed by the team at Double Robotics. You know how Facetime works for an iPad? It’s great. But in order to use it at a remote meeting, you have to rely on someone at your remote location having an iPad and being prepared to hold it whilst you participate. And then you need to get them to move it about, re-position it… oh it’s an arse.
So what if you were able to control a remote iPad? What if you could put the iPad on a stand? Nice. What if you could mobilise that stand — i.e. stick some wheels on it? And what if you could actually drive this remote iPad from your own iPad? You could turn left and right as folk in the remote meeting room talk. You could drive out of the meeting room and over to the desk of a colleague… Your colleagues at the remote simply see an iPad with your face on it driving about. Heh. They can talk to you. You can talk to them. It’s insta-telepresence!
Ok… watch the Double Robotics video now…
Simply wicked, right?
A bit… weird, I’ll admit. But goodness me it’s cool.
How long before we see these things in hospitals? Meeting rooms? Industrial plants?
They’re available for pre-order at $1,999 (normal price, $2,499) for delivery in December this year.
I. Love. It.
I think I’ll be buying a few for clients.