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Telepresence - the technology and its economic and social implications

Mair, G.M. (1997) Telepresence - the technology and its economic and social implications. In: Technology and Society, 1997-06-20 - 1997-06-21.

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Telepresence is the experience of being present at a real world location remote from one's own immediate physical environment. This is much more than simple teleconferencing since it attempts to allow the user to feel immersed in the remote environment and to be able, through teleoperation, to manipulate or control remote events. By using the Strathclyde Transparent Telepresence Research Group and the Strathclyde Telepresence System as examples this paper considers the organisation and technology that makes a telepresence system possible. It examines the current limitations of such systems and their eventual potential. The typical applications, present and future, of telepresence systems are noted before going on to discuss the economic and social implications of these applications, The paper is intended to stimulate further thought on possible future advantages and disadvantages of this emerging technology.