April 5 2016

Coolest Tool Seen this Year

Posted on the 04:50 pm under Business,Mobility,Productivity,Telephone by Darren Boyer

Does anyone really need a robot to help attend remote meetings?  At first I was skeptical.  Our Network Engineers said that our client had ordered one because they saw it at their corporate Head Office in action.  Next it showed up at our clients office.  The engineers came back and said it was very cool.   I was still unsure.

A couple weeks later we had a meeting scheduled to try and offer some insight regarding collaboration platforms.  As we were onsite waiting for our scheduled meeting in came Carmen.  Actually Carmen was in Fort St John, but in came the robot with Carmen on the screen.  She saw us first and said something like ‘Oh Hi, I guess I’m a little early”.   Next she drove the robot, with her face on the screen, through the boardroom door, around the boardroom and took her place across the table from us.  The whole time Carmen was talking away and very gracious with some of our questions.

The ‘Wow’ factor was definitely happening.  We continued to learn about some of the features and were introduced to how she uses this very cool robot called a Beam .  For a good video  try this review.

The most memorable part of the meeting for me came a little later.  Carmen leaned into her webcam part way through the meeting and turned the beam a little bit to look and engage with a co-worker who was sitting beside her.  It was just like a human would do it.  Except she was 200km away at a remote office and the robot was doing part of the motion on her behalf.

On March 7 we also heard Cisco has a very cool robot used for remote meetings and connections.  She is called the Ava 500.  A little sturdier than the Beam, and no doubt a very well designed machine.  Can’t wait to meet someone over it as well.

The Beam made a great first impression on me.  Easily the coolest tool seen so far this year.   For as low as $2,000 USD your remote offices can be connected like never before.

Cisco telepresence robot

Cisco telepresence robot

Telepresence with robot

Beam Meeting in Action

Written by Darren Boyer

Darren Boyer

Darren Boyer is the founder and president of pcit.

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