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Telepresence for the Teleworkplace: Living-in versus visiting Cyberspace… Making Telepresence a Reality. Gordon Bell ( Bay Area Research Center Microsoft Research Outline. Telepresence and Telework Teleworking environment

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Telepresence for the Teleworkplace:Living-in versus visiting Cyberspace…Making Telepresence a Reality

Gordon Bell


Bay Area Research Center

Microsoft Research

  • Telepresence and Telework
    • Teleworking environment
    • Overhead: Support & Administrivia
    • The “work”
  • Telepresence dimensions
  • Telepresentations: the 2nd killer app!
  • Telecollaboration: killer app to come?
  • “The work”
  • Is it for everyone?
“Therapy from long distance debated”- SJ Mercury 5 April 1998
what is telepresence
What is Telepresence?
  • Being there without really being there or then
  • Injecting your presence

into tele-space

  • Being immersed in the tele-space
telepresence components
Telepresence Components
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Slides, images, web pages
  • Text chat
  • Shared applications
  • Whiteboards
  • Voting, question taking
time shifting beats space shifting
Time-shifting beats Space-shifting
  • Gets around scheduling problems
    • World’s time zones!
  • Lets me pause, rewind, browse, play at faster speeds
  • Immortality
  • Time-shifting requires STORAGE !!!
today s killer app telepresentations
Today’s killer app : Telepresentations
  • One-way mostly
    • Not meeting or collaboration settings
    • forget the network latencies and messy social issues
  • Presenter and/or audience telepresent
  • Slides and audio get you 99% and are bandwidth cheap
  • Practical and low cost now
telework cyber work telepresence being there while being here and at some other time
Telework = (cyber) work + telepresence … being there while being here, and at some other time.
  • Goal: teleoffice/teleworkplace = workplace office
  • The teleworkplace is ideally just a “remote office” W/O
    • Communication, computer, and network support!
    • Team interactions for work! CSCW is a “rat hole”!
    • Interaction at coffee, meeting rooms, … in offices
    • Administrative support for phones, information (especially paper) management, keeping track of
  • Always on & always connected to intranet/intranet ...!
  • Telecommunication aka phone & email -- the first, “killer apps”
  • Telepresentations -- the 2nd “killer app”
  • Tele-collaboration -- the “killer app” to come
teleworking cw 9 1 97
Teleworking CW 9/1/97
  • 15% 2 yr increase, 11 Mpeople, avg. 19 Hr/wk
  • 42% of US Co’s; 22% have policies (screening, worker expectations, liability, IP protection, etc.
  • Are telecommuters more productive?
    • 30% yes
    • 50% same
    • 4% no
    • 16% don’t know
  • Are telecommuters more accessible?
    • 13% yes
    • 40% same
    • 40% no
    • 7% don’t know
soho small office home office network computing environment
SOHO (small office, home office)network computing environment

POTS (legacy services)

IP Dial tone (Internet, phone, videophone) >1.5 Mbps

NT Server for: comm/network, POTS/IP gateway, file, print, compute





*NC, NetPC, Xterm, etc.







SOHO AKA COMOHO Teleworking Environment or is it?Guardian Angel:intercom,records what we read, see, and hear… protects us fromourselves and others


Not shown: ECG; GPS;

Libretto, .5mm

PCS; Pilot

Compass; altimeter

Libretto PS, Ricoh Camera; Swiss Army Knife

telework communications dimensions
Telework & communications dimensions
  • Who and how many are interacting?
  • What is the nature of the interaction?
  • Which professions?
  • Mechanisms: How are they interacting?
the space of telepresence for work





ICQ, Internet phone & phone conf.

RealAudio & simple graphics

Workspace for remote program control

Whiteboard (groups)...


Remote Rover (Robot Videophone)

The Space of Telepresencefor work


Formal presentations sans video


Voice & Videomail

Video lectures & courses



1:1 personal communication

2 site-site conferencing; n site conferencing

1:p broadcasts

computer management

distributed groups with >2, 10, <100,

view (troll) hallways with “informal” interaction

1: 1 videophone calls for (problem solving, authoring)



formal meetings (lectures, conferences, stockholder meetings, town halls, etc..)








telepresence who and what

1:1 person-person communication

n:m 2-site-site video conference

1:n-site broadcasting or Mbone narrowcasting

distributed group. >2 - 5 - 10 - 100



computer management (no persons)


view (troll) hallways, “seeking interaction”

1:1 interview, status report, etc.

1-6 videophone calls for (design, problem solving, authoring)

hold staff meetings with 1 or more members distributed

attend classes

formal meetings (lectures, conferences, stockholder meetings, town halls, etc..)

Telepresence: who and what
telepresence mechanisms for work


Internet phone & phone conferencing

Internet Videophone

RealAudio & Overhead graphics

Shared applications


CU SeeMe on POTS… IP Videophone

Mbone Video conferencing

Room Video conferencing

Remote Rover (Robot Videophone)


voice mail…STT

email ... TTS

Home pages replace bulletin boards, file transport, and document distribution

Schedule & “Notes”

Voice and Video “email”

Telepresentations (meetings, presentations, & courses)

Telepresence Mechanisms (for Work)

voice and visual alternatives in order of increasing b w

TTS (synthetic or speaker driven)

4 Kb-64 Kb codec of real voice

Stereo of real voice

Stereo with sound source identification

Projection into arbitrary virtual world environment

*variable speed

Visual AKA Video*

Text avatar (simple… photo)

Avatar with voice sync

Avatar of real person

Video codec based projection

“Postage stamp” … POTS

“Mailing label” … ISDN or 2x POTS

Compressed VHS (200 Kbps)

MPEG 2 (1- 4 Mbps)

Speaker tracking, 1-n cameras

VR image of a large space

3d images “holodeck”

Animatron e.g. Barney

Mobile Animatron

*Meeting in real or virtual world

Voice and Visual Alternatives (in order of increasing B/W)
telepresentations b eing there e g meeting lecture confererene without really being there or then
Telepresentations“Being There (e.g. meeting, lecture, confererene) Without Really Being There (or Then)”
  • Presenter or audience need not be physically present
  • Reach a wider audience
    • “I have a schedule conflict.”
    • Anybody with a web connection can participate
  • Reduce costs
    • No need to travel to attend or participate in a presentation
  • Education & training, corporate communication
motivation telepresentations
  • Presenter and/or audience telepresent
  • NOT: meeting or collaboration settings
    • Forget the nasty social issues!

Mostly one-way

telepresentation elements
  • Slides
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Script, text comments, hyperlinks,etc.
telepresentations the essentials
Telepresentations:The Essentials
  • Slide and audio a must
  • Add some video (low quality) to make us feel good
  • Storage and transmission costs low
telepresentations the killer app
Telepresentations:The Killer App
  • Increased attendance & lower travel costs
  • Practical and low-cost NOW
  • e.g. ACM97 - 2,000 visitors in real space, 20,000 visitors on Internet
this talk
This talk
  • Would you like to pause, rewind, browse?
  • Do you wish you could have seen this
    • At home?
    • At another time?
  • How much does a present speaker add? How much would you pay for real presence?
telecollaboration the next killer app
Telecollaboration: The next “killer app”

interacting to achieve a common objective … basically, its communications enabling or disabling people

tools for telecollaboration
Tools for telecollaboration
  • Powerpoint: conference & record, Precept: mbone multicasting
  • NetShow: On demand viewing of video 28.8 - 100 Kb
  • CuSeeMe: audio, video, whiteboard
  • NetMeeting: audio, 2 way video, chat, whiteboard, program sharing
  • Placeware for large scale meetings, presentations, and collaborations
  • Latitude MeetingPlace phone & data conference
  • Active Touch web-based phone & data conference
active touch live collaboration architecture
Active Touch Live Collaboration Architecture

















active touch data collaboration services
Active Touch Data Collaboration Services





Doc Review











Web Tour





Conf. Control

Multipoint Comm.




Web Server

active touch administration and enterprise integration
Active Touch Administration and Enterprise Integration

Admin and EI



Billing &



Service Module





















collaboration application server criteria
Collaboration Application Server: Criteria
  • Robust, scalable
  • Data & Telephony Tight Integration
  • Web Integration
  • Easy-To-Use
  • Security
  • Open Standards (HTTP, TSAPI, LDAP, T.120, Encryption)
  • Enterprise Application Integration
  • Performance
  • High Availability
  • Customizable
  • Low latency, high bandwidth for interactivity, feeling, nuances
  • Channels:
    • speech (including spatialization)
    • the “work” I.e. document, diagram, program, presentation, etc.
    • video output: forces attendance and holds attention
    • video input: “state” of the receiver cues
    • whiteboard
    • chat channels
telework it takes screens sound and bandwidth stupid
Telework: It takes screens, sound, and bandwidth, stupid

by april 1 2001 videophones will ship in 50 of the pcs and be in use
By April 1, 2001 videophones will ship in 50% of the PCs and be in use.

Gordon Bell vs Jim Gray1996 (one paper, loser gets fed)

how to fail at video telephony
How to fail at video-telephony
  • Have just a few video-telephones… defy Metcalfe’s Law
  • Have audio latency
  • Make calling more difficult and time-consuming than placing a phone call
  • Eliminate gaze awareness and eye contact
how to fail at video conferencing
How to fail at video-conferencing
  • Break the video-telephony rules
  • Stick with poor mono audio and don’t provide stereo
  • Make the images very small so that users can’t see the other participants
  • Destroy any sense of spatial positioning
four steps to video telephony enabling telemeetings
Four steps to video-telephony enabling telemeetings
  • Very low cost IP telephony becomes ubiquitous
  • Evolve audio to provide spatial awareness aka stereo, quad, etc.
  • Make recording easy to do
  • Add multi-party
limits of computer supported collaborative work cscw
Limits of Computer Supported Collaborative Work -- CSCW
  • We don’t understand collaboration
  • We do it for design of chips, software, 777s
  • “One person has the mouse” problem
  • Camera is important NOT for comm. channel,but for signals from attendees (did they “get it”),and to keep & force attendee attention
  • Parallel processing and single threading of tasks
  • Limited parallelism for the job
  • Brook’s Law matters!
alternative computing futures
Alternative Computing Futures
  • Metropolis (1926)
  • Forbidden Planet (1956)
  • 2001 (1968)

Photos courtesy of Microsoft Cinemania

a people model who wants to telework
A People Model: Who wants to telework?


formal(in writing)



Sally Field

Analyticals.. being right, detailed


Drivers…results oriented


Managing Interpersonal Relationships(MIR)

2D Model

broadcast- push




Expressives...want recognition, need contact




Souter Evangelism Swaggert

problems socio vs technical
Problems: socio vs technical
  • Isolation & loneliness
    • need for communication/stimulation
    • chance meetings -- serendipity of ideas
    • loss of group/teamwork skills
    • danger of becoming “terminal”
  • interruptions & focus
  • lack of support staff to help, answer ?s
  • supervision and ability to have 1:1
  • unclear that many people want it… they simply need the contact with people
good news
Good News
  • Bandwidth will come
  • Audio and video compression is improving to live within POTS limit
  • Videophones will be built-into all PCs within 5 years at 0 cost
  • Telepresentations are here for “live” and “on demand” useThis will change education!
  • Telecollaboration tools work for simple apps… and will improve
telepresence 5 10 50 year goals
Telepresence: 5, 10, … 50 year goals

hold a meeting of type, m

university or technical course

interview, staff meeting, co-ordination, board meeting, annual meeting, “town hall”,

with p, distributed persons

with as much interactivity, I, and feeling, f

such that people prefer being telepresent; and

meetings are provably more productive

meetings will evolve to be asynchronous versus traditional synchronous enabling full time-shifting so that people can be in two places at the same time

time and motion study
Time and Motion Study
  • Where does all the time go?
  • Can anything be parallelized?
  • Is there an app to help?
    • Will the gain be worth the pain?
  • What is likely to be a fruitless and/or over- worked area e.g. tele-collaboration?
time and motion of teleworker me context doing





Children & grandchildren


GB Corp




sleeping, feeding, traveling

goofing-off, social interacting, vacationing

supporting infrastructure


grazing, learning



Time and motion of teleworker (me)context & “doing”

* building, deciding, interacting, presenting, problem-solving, testing, thinking, writing…

group structure of interaction
Group Structure of Interaction
  • solo
  • pair
  • small productive group of 3-6
  • group gropes, edutainment, formal meetings 10-100
  • whole organization or organization-at-large
  • world
administrivia paper and phone coexistence
Administrivia, paper and phone coexistence
  • With no administrative support, we are our own administrative assistants, secretaries, and gofers.
  • Forms and travel arrangements
  • Calendar management
  • Paper handling and its database
    • Identification, input, indexing, and interface
    • Interface to message management database
  • Message management database
    • email, voicemail, fax, contacts, calendar
    • phone and videophone must be “on line”
  • Personal databaseS management are a major time sink
coexisting with paper
Coexisting with Paper
  • Paper disappears as transmission & storage media, but not for portability & screen dump
  • Goals of “automating” paper:
    • No more time-consuming than discarding it
    • Input, Identify, OCR, Index, save, and retrieve in every possible context
    • Biz cards, fax, reports, brochures,
    • Give things back in context
    • Totally eliminate the need for copiers
    • Interface: unobtrusive and humane
  • Success is measured by elimination of FILING Cabinets!!
what paper must we handle
What paper must we handle?
  • letters (diminishing, given email)
  • forms that require signatures, often via fax
  • clipped articles e.g. graphs, journals, misc. book pages
  • technical reports that need to be OCR'd with figs
  • copies of documents e.g. stocks, signature pages, and licenses. Originals are stored elsewhere.
  • small, non-critical document e.g. insurance policies, receipts, warrantees
  • large documents that are OCR’d e.g. contracts. Original storage may be kept somewhere else.
  • scraps of paper e.g. receipts, checks, bills …must be legal images
  • business cards that go into an electronic address book
  • photographs and slides. legacy acetate presentations?
  • 700 page text image requires 50 Mbytes, at a cost of $5. A 5 GB disk holds 100 books., or 1000 bbif encoded!
coexisting with the telephone
Coexisting with the telephone
  • Overall integration with the computer
  • Answering machine, recorder, and transcriber
  • And database with transcription, keywords, and voice
  • “Wildfire” it … finds me
  • ICQ capability for both computer and phone
capturing storing and retreiving everything we ve ever heard said seen presented and read written
Capturing, storing and retreiving everything we’ve ever: heard (said), seen (presented), and read (written)
storing all we ve read heard seen
Storing all we’ve read, heard, & seen

Human data-types /hr /day (/4yr) /lifetime

read text, few pictures 200 K 2 -10 M/G 60-300 G

speech text @120wpm 43 K 0.5 M/G 15 G

speech @1KBps 3.6 M 40 M/G 1.2 T

stills w/voice @100KB 200 K 2 M/G 60 G

video-like 50Kb/s POTS 22 M .25 G/T 25 T

video 200Kb/s VHS-lite 90 M 1 G/T 100 T

video 4.3Mb/s HDTV/DVD 1.8 G 20 G/T 1 P

storage and data rate requirements for common office data types
Storage and data-rate requirements for common office data-types

Documents image compressed #/GB

page or fax 100 K 4K 10K;250K

business card 5 K 500 200K;2M

snapshot 3 M 100 K 10,000

350 page book 25 M 1-2 M 40;750

Human data-types /hr /day /lifetime

read text, few pictures 200 K 2 -10 M 60-300 G

speech text @120wpm 43 K 0.5 M 15 G

speech @1KBps 3.6 M 40 M 1.2 T

Video comp. 50KbPOTS 22 M .25 G 25 T

video comp. 200Kb VHS 90 M 1 G 100 T

video comp. 4.3Mb DVD 1.8 G 20 G 1 P

telepresence for work requirements
Telepresence for work: requirements
  • Telepresence = space and time shifting
  • Goal: teleoffice/teleworkplace = workplace office
  • Limited space, bandwidth, administrative and computer support infrastructure, AND interaction
  • Need: run all office and professional apps, support computing environment, and be always connected
  • New app opportunities: telepresentations (e.g. NetShow, Powerpoint conferencing);
  • Web is the greatest library ever created
  • Create “presence” for collaboration by apps sharing (e.g. NetMeeting, Placeware)
  • Administrative support including paper handling!
  • Short term bets: large disks (e.g 20GB), more displays, videophones, cameras, scanners, bandwidth limits
telework telepresence a forcing function into several areas
Telework & telepresence: a forcing function into several areas...
  • Home Network
  • Network connection is always on … and at high speed
  • Support (at reasonable cost) for all apps… -- the teleworker = system admin
  • Office work… e.g. paperlessness, message mgm’t “recording all we read, write, hear, and see”-- the teleworker = admin. assistant aka secretary
  • Telepresence… attending meetings and lectures, taking courses, etc. without travel
  • Collaboration on a work project without travel
it s the near term platforms stupid multimedia is finally happening
It’s the near-term platforms, stupid!(multimedia is finally happening)
  • Text & 2D graphics >> images, voice, & video
  • The WEB: being anywhere and doing anything
  • Disk sizes and cost c1998
    • $50-100 / GB
    • 4 GB standard; CD-R; and 20-40 GB MO R/W
  • The videophone will emerge for distributed conferences
  • Document, picture, and video capture and compression
    • 10,000 to 250,000 pages / GB; 10,000 pictures / GB
    • 40-400 books / GB or $0.25-2.50 / book
    • Plethora of … CAMERAS EVERYWHERE!
    • More Screens. We need at least two!
  • Voice and video compression*
    • 250 hours / GB voice
    • Stamp size-VHS: 12-50 hours / GB;
  • Audio: Surround sound that is part of V-places
telework summary
Telework: Summary
  • The web is the enabler. We still lack B/W.
  • Technology is coming, research lags in handling
    • Storage of all text, audio, and useful video
    • Videophones, cameras, netPCs, WebTV, etc.
    • More pixels we require to increase “presence”
    • Adequate audio… the “killer” component
  • A big part of telework is just office productivity
    • Coexistence with computer, paper, telephone,
    • Data-types require a multimedia database
    • Computer and network management is a real “time killer”
  • CSCW is a rathole. We don’t understand CW
    • The killer apps are simple: telepresentations and shared apps
  • Being connected all the time is essential