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Another Nortel Acquisition: Beyond Telepresence

The CNN article explains:

If several individuals in a virtual game or meeting are speaking at the same time, DiamondWare's technology allows each individual to hear other participants in relation to how far away they are in the virtual space. Participants can also engage in private conversations. These types of capabilities can dramatically enhance the virtual communications experience and make it much closer to a real-world experience.

I know, you're still wiping up your desk from the spit-take you did when you heard how much a telepresence room costs--now we're supposed to do spatial audio, whatever the heck that is?

I kinda think so. If you buy the notion that in the long term, one of the jobs of next-gen communications systems will be to replicate the in-person experience as closely as possible, then telepresence is just the start.

Of course, we are talking long term, and we're not saying remote communications totally replaces travel, and we're not saying communications isn't about mobility, too; nor are we saying there isn't a significant role for very basic capabilities, in situations when that's all you require.

But look, this is exciting; it really gives communications a new lease on life.

One final bit of recommended reading: Nortel's scary-smart CTO, John Roese, wrote about the acquisition on his blog today, and while he spent a fair amount of time on the technology, Roese also shows he understands the larger realities that Nortel faces and is trying to address:

You must use many tactics to execute on a strategic transformation. Some are financial and operating transformations. Some are people transformations and organizational renewal. And some are capturing relevant external technologies to secure and accelerate your ability to reach leadership ahead of your competitors.

Update: Forgot I wanted to embed this. It's Cisco's futuristic vision, where a hologram-like Marthin DeBeer appears on stage in India, virtually, alongside John Chambers: