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Cisco Experimenting with an On-Stage Telepresence Experience

November 15, 2007 | HSL

cisco_onstage1_300x176px.jpgCisco demonstrated an "On-Stage" Telepresence experience at the launch of their Globilization Center East in Bangalore, India.  During a presentation to the media in Bangalore, Cisco CEO John Chambers "beamed up" Marthin De Beer, Senior Vice President of Emerging Technology Group at Cisco, and Chuck Stucki the General Manager of the Telepresence Business Unit from San Jose. The photorealistic and lifesize virtual duo from San Jose then interacted with the Cisco CEO and presented to the audience in India.  You can check out a video of the launch of the Cisco Globalization Center East which includes the stand up telepresence experience on the Cisco video website here:

See Cisco CEO John Chambers interact with Marthin De Beer, Senior Vice President of Emerging Technology Group in this video:

This demonstration married the telepresence display technology of UK based Musion with the ultra high definition camera and codec technology that powers the Cisco TelePresence offering and the Cisco Human Network that hooked together Bangalore and San Jose.

How The Heck Did They Do That?

The Musion display technology is similar to the tech that telepresence provider Digital Video Enterprises uses for their seamless tele-immersion room.  A sheet of Musion's patented, transparent Eye-liner foil is stretched across the stage.  The ultra high-definition image of Marthin De Beer and Chuck Stucki are captured in San Jose and the images of the virtual humans are then transported over the Human Network to be displayed in Bangalore.

The Cisco shots make it difficult to see the technology at work but the New York Times ran a story illustrating some of capabilities the Eyeliner video product brings to a modern theater production. It helps make the tech more tangible.

cisco_onstage3_460x332px.jpg Actors (not seen by the audience) are reflected onstage on a nearly invisible screen, observed by Aldo Perez, right, in the play "Losing Something," at the 3LD Art & Technology Center.

The Musion system takes a captured image and shines it down to a mirror on the ground with an ultra-bright projector. The image then bounces off the mirror and is displayed on the Eye-liner foil (as shown above). For more images of the process at work, check out the Times' slideshow

An excellent example of the Musion system technology shown in the Gorillaz video performance seen above

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