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Telepresence systems are advanced video conferencing systems that let you establish a physical presence in a remote location while giving the ability to move, speak and listen to individuals who are actually at the location. If you are a remote worker, this lets you stay informed about what is occurring in the office and increases your ability to communicate more effectively with your team. The technology can also make you feel as if you are actually in the presence of your coworkers, even if you are continents away. Some of these advanced video technology systems include the Double, Brother OmniJoi and the VGo.

Using this type of system in the workplace makes scheduling and attending meetings flexible for all parties involves. It also reduces the need to spend time and money traveling to the meeting site. In addition, it makes it possible for you to retain your best employees, even when they decide to move away from where your business is located.

Telepresence: What to Look For

There are certain elements to look for when you're choosing video conferencing solutions. These elements will determine how you can use the technology and what benefits it will give you and your staff. The right system should help you collaborate more effectively, get work done and build relationships with your employees.

Screen Resolution
The screen resolution of your telepresence equipment is an important factor due to the experience it provides. A negative experience caused by low-quality screen resolution can affect how often the solution is used and how effective it is. Many conferencing systems use at least a 1080p resolution so that a large monitor may be used so that it resembles a face-to-face meeting.

Mobile Avatar
Mobile telepresence through avatars lets you interact with the remote environment without having to be physically present. Many of these avatars let you move about in the meeting area, navigating to different locations or even turning to face those who are speaking to you in real time. This puts you in control of conversations and collaborations with co-workers and employees.

Tablet Compatibility
While some telepresence video conferencing systems come equipped with built-in screens that let you see and speak to remote workers, others act as only a base and are compatible with your tablets. They may work with Android, iPad or Windows tablets, but they may require additional applications before they can be used.

Headset Compatibility
Headsets are a vital part of communicating through advanced video conference technology. Headsets can let you multitask as you participate in meetings and can provide a high-quality experience. Using the right headset can ensure your voice is heard in crystal-clear sound with minimal feedback and chatter. They also improve comfort, especially during long periods of use. Many telepresence systems are compatible with headsets to offer these benefits.

Communicating effectively even when you're in a remote location is possible with telepresence technology. You will want to be sure to consider each of the solutions features prior to making any purchasing decision to ensure it is the right one for your company.

BeamPro by Suitable Technology Review

The BeamPro lets you walk and talk with anyone, even if you aren't present at that location with a mobile avatar. This system features six echo-canceling microphones, a large LCD display and a built-in speaker. Its charging dock can be plugged into most outlets and can continue to be used even while it is charging. It does require an app, but the app is available on most systems.

The telepresence system can be controlled with several difference devices using an internet connection, dual-band radios or a 4G card.

This mobile avatar features its own 17-inch LCD display screen with 1080p screen resolution. It also has two cameras and a built-in speaker that lets you see and hear what is going on around you, even if you aren't actually there to see it. The telepresence robot also features six microphones that cancel out background noise and echoes for quality sound. It is also headset compatible.

The avatar is capable of moving up to 2 mph, so you can walk and talk with those you need to. The battery has a life of up to eight hours when the telepresence system is being used but can be put on standby for up to 24 hours when not in use as well. A charging dock comes with the solution to charge the battery when necessary. This dock can be plugged into almost any outlet. The system can be docked and continue to work.

In order to use this telepresence solution, you have to download the Beam App first, which allows you to drive the robot almost anywhere. The app can be downloaded on Windows 7 and 8 computers, laptops and tablets, as well as Mac OS x 10.7+. Controlling the avatar once you have these apps can be done using your keyboard, mouse or Xbox controller. A Wi-Fi network is necessary to control the mobile robot, but dual-band radios can also be used. A 4G card can be utilized as well, but this costs extra.

This telepresence video teleconferencing system features a mobile avatar that can move up to 2 mph. It also has a long battery life and comes with a docking station that can be used to charge the device when the battery runs low. In addition, the app needed for the system can be downloaded onto multiple devices. Using this, you can take advantage of the six microphones and built-in speaker to see and hear those in a remote location.

Brother OmniJoin Review

Brother OmniJoin is a telepresence solution for businesses looking for a secure place to conduct virtual meetings. This software is designed to improve collaboration between you and other users by using private or public clouds. While no avatar or device comes with this technology, the software does offer military-grade encryption and multiple password controls for your security. It is also capable of transforming your low web resolutions to 1080p resolution for fantastic picture quality during meetings. You'll also have the ability to record and playback your meetings for future use. It can be used on any tablet, laptop or computer, but the device you choose will determine its headset compatibility.

This video telepresence software doesn't include any mobile avatar, but it does feature two unique platforms. The first is a public cloud, where you can conduct your business securely but quickly. The second platform is a private cloud, which gives you the most security possible because it hides behind the firewall on your computer. Each option is protected by military encryption as well as the ability to use multiple passwords for each kind of meeting.

With this software, you can conduct online meetings using the tools you're already familiar with, like media file sharing, whiteboarding and screen sharing. The technology will also give you the opportunity to record each meeting. This can be used later for reference or even for training. As the admin, you'll be able to control every feature of the virtual meeting room to customize to your own needs.

In addition to working on your PC, tablet and laptop, OmniJoin also features a mobile application that can be used to attend virtual meetings, even when you're on-the-go. The app works with the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad, but is not available for Windows or Android devices. The device you choose to use will determine if the telepresence software will be headset compatible.

Being able to play videos, share content and speak to other remote users isn't of much use if you can't see what is going on in the meeting. This telepresence solution gives you the ability to adjust your screen resolution from low to 1080p quickly for HD-quality resolution.

When you're looking at telepresence options, this software may offer some of the features you want. While it doesn't come with a mobile avatar, it does work with many smartphones and computer devices. It also features the ability to use many of the tools you need to collaborate with others and connects you to remote users all over the world. In addition, it offers encryption, password protection and other security measures to keep your information safe.

Cisco TelePresence EX90 Review

The Cisco TelePresence EX90 is multifunctional; it can be used as both a video conferencing device and a computer monitor, but it does not feature a mobile avatar. It supports the use of a headset but also comes equipped with stereo speakers and a microphone. It has a 1080p screen resolution, but this resolution is reduced to 720p when its four-way multipoint feature is used. This feature is only available with additional purchase, however. Content sharing is available with this telepresence, but dual displays cost extra.

This telepresence technology comes equipped with a high-definition screen that measures 24 inches. It doesn't feature a mobile avatar, but it can be used as a video conferencing system and can also convert into a computer monitor. The video resolution for the video technology is 1080p but reduces to 720p when its multipoint technology is being used. This technology gives you the option of collaborating with four remote sites at the same time. It does come at an additional cost, though.

The telepresence video conferencing system comes with a variety of contents, including a display screen, TelePresence Touch 8 and an integrated codec. While it does support the use of a headset, it also comes with a subwoofer, speakers and a microphone. A camera is also included so others can see you while you are speaking to them with this technology. In addition, you receive an AC adapter and five cables.

While you can use a headset to ensure hands-free capability, comfort and sound quality, the solution is comprehensive enough not to need one. It has stereo voice quality and uses audio standards AAC-LD, G.722 and G.711. The system will also cancel out any echoes while you are speaking or listening to others speak and features noise-reduction capabilities.

Sharing content is just one of the capabilities of the telepresence solution. You can also connect immediately to anyone, even if that person is using a different telepresence system. Dual display is also available, but it costs extra. In addition, you have the option of recording any video calls you make. You are able to record all of the participants in the call as well as any of the presentations that were made during it. These recordings can be accessed later, so you can look over what occurred during the meeting and have a permanent record of what was agreed.

When you're looking for telepresence options, this solution can provide you with several features, including the ability to record meetings, headset compatibility and use as a computer monitor. Some of the elements that make it up, however, like multipoint technology and dual display, are not included as standard.

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Double Review

The Double from Double Robotics uses your iPad Air or iPad Air 2 to give you the ability to see and speak to employees, clients or co-workers remotely. It features a self-balancing avatar with an adjustable height. The portable telepresence robot also comes with an AC adapter for charging the avatar's battery between uses. The iPad necessary for this robot is not included, and an optional audio kit that includes a microphone and speaker must be purchased separately.

This telepresence technology features a mobile avatar that puts you or any remote worker in complete control. The avatar has the capability to roll across almost any type of indoor flooring. It is also self-balancing and has dual kickstands that enable it to stand still when you're taking part in meetings or discussions that don't require movement.

Because you may need to speak to individuals who are standing or sitting down, you can adjust the avatar's height remotely. It can shrink down to a sitting height of only 47 inches or increase to a height of 60 inches so that you can look at those you are speaking to in the eye, even when you can't be in their presence. A downward camera also lets you capture the images of those you are talking to.

While this telepresence robot does come with a wide angle lens that magnetically attaches to the avatar, it does not feature a screen. Instead, it requires the use of your iPad or iPad 2, which are not included. The manufacturer recommends that the iPad Air 2 is used. To control the avatar and what is seen on the iPad's screen, driver apps that are compatible with the iPad, iPhone and various web browsers are included with your purchase.

Also included is an AC adapter, which can charge the avatar's battery in only two hours. The battery itself can last six to eight hours before needing to be charged. While not included, a charging dock for the Double can also be purchased.

The telepresence solution is compatible with a headset, but the audio kit comes at an extra cost. This kit includes a directional microphone and a loud speaker.

While this telepresence equipment may not come with an audio kit or a screen, it is compatible with your headset and your iPad Air. It is mobile, but it has a dual kick stand to keep it steady when it isn't moving around. The system also features motorized, adjustable height for standing and sitting.

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iRobot Ava 500 Review

The iRobot Ava 500 helps you establish a physical presence in a remote location while giving you the flexibility of meeting face-to-face with others or meeting in open areas. It gives you a view of your environment in real time and features an avatar that can move from location to location using an iPad or iPhone that you operate. You can track the movement of your avatar with the iRobot cloud service. The avatar is integrated with Cisco TelePresence EX60 as well.

This video telepresence system features an avatar that can be controlled via an iPhone or iPad tablet with an application. The avatar is mobile and can reach the location you choose by simply plugging that location into the control; no other human interaction is necessary. The remote control technology lets you determine the location you want the avatar to go and set the time necessary for the meeting, so it travels automatically when you need it. When the time allotted is over, the avatar automatically returns to the included charging station.

You can also control the portable telepresence avatar manually, enabling you to speak to individuals at a moment's notice in the hallway or in their office. In order to do this, you'll need to have an iPhone or iPad with a trackpad interface. The avatar won't return to the charging station automatically this way, however, and will need to be manually returned.

This telepresence solution is integrated with Cisco TelePresence EX60. This advanced technology delivers up to 1080p screen resolutions and 6 Mbps video conference calls. It also improves the wireless connectivity of the system and gives the infrastructure the security you need to feel safe when using it.

A cloud service from iRobot lets you manage and track your avatars, which can be helpful if your business is using several Ava 500s at once. It also assists you by tracking the battery status and overall health of each avatar and by tracking the schedule of the robots.

This telepresence system is headset compatible, but it also features other elements you might enjoy using. For instance, the height and angle of the camera on the avatar can be adjusted with the iPad application to ensure your interactions with others are as natural as possible. It can also detect obstacles that might get in its way by using built-in sonar, laser and 3D imaging technologies. This prevents it from bumping into anyone or anything.

While the avatar won't auto-dock when in manual control, this telepresence equipment does feature automatic or manual mobility, advanced mapping technology and the ability to adjust to necessary heights. It works with the iPad and iPhone and uses Cisco TelePresence EX60 for brilliant screen resolution.

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IVCI Acano Review

The Acano from IVCI doesn't feature its own device or avatar but instead encompasses technologies that give you the chance to share your ideas with individuals in a remote setting. It features coSpaces, a type of virtual room designed specifically for meetings. With this telepresence technology, you can make video calls, phone calls and share content. Compatibility with your headset, your screen resolution and the quality of the sound will depend entirely on the device you choose to use. Acano can support different codecs and audio ports, however, and will let you move between different devices without missing a beat.

This video telepresence software uses technology to bring together you and as many other remote users as you want. The technology does not come with any type of device, like an avatar, but it can be used with multiple types of devices at once, including your home computer, tablet and phone. As you are using the software for video calls, phone calls or sharing content, you can switch between devices as needed. For instance, you may use your phone to speak privately to other members of the meeting or may use your tablet or PC to video call or share content.

The telepresence technology is capable of massive deployments and is designed to be available to you no matter what country or location you are in. It also features strict federal security standards that keep your information encrypted and safe while in use.

In addition, the telepresence video conferencing software has the capability to support thousands of audio ports. Its headset capability and actual screen resolution, however, will depend on the device you choose to use. It does support multiple codes, however, and offers automatic switched or layered video and transcoding. Virtual meeting rooms, called coSpaces, let you work together to share content and even share screens with other users.

While this telepresence software doesn't come with a specific avatar or device you can use to communicate with others, it does give you the technology necessary to make the most of other devices you own. With it, you can make phone calls, conduct video calls and share important content with others around the world. The device you choose will determine the screen resolution of your video, but this software will give you the ability to switch seamlessly to different devices whenever you want. It will also keep you and all your content secure during use.

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Kubi Classic Review

The Kubi Classic from Revolve Robotics lets you interact with others when you're not available to be in the room with them through telepresence technology. This system uses a robot that holds onto your tablet using a spring-loaded mount. It features customizable controls and comes with an AC power adapter and mini-USB cable. The robot can be paired with a Bluetooth headset and can be connected to your laptop via Bluetooth. It is not mobile, but it can tilt and pan a room so that you can participate in group meetings.

This technology features a tabletop avatar that can be controlled by your mobile device, laptop or PC. While it doesn't come with its own screen, it does have a spring-loaded mount that holds most tablets securely in place. It is compatible with the iPad 3, 4 and Air. It can also be used with iPad minis and Android tablets seven to 10 inches wide and connects to the tablet through Bluetooth. For tablets over 12 inches, you'll need to purchase separate arms.

This telepresence equipment works by panning and tilting so you can participate in remote meetings and discussions. It offers a 300-degree pan and 45-degree tilt. In order to control this operation and customize your experience, you need to download the appropriate app first, both of which are available at the Apple Store and Google Play.

The control interface lets you collaborate with others and map the layout of the room. You can switch between different modes and even save your favorite camera positions as you discover them. This telepresence interface also lets you control where you look during a meeting, so you can adjust the screen and address the specific person you want to talk to when you want to talk to them.

The video telepresence system comes with a mini-USB cable and an AC adapter for charging the battery in-between uses. The solutions features a status indicator and power button as well so you can know immediately when the power is on and the battery is being used.

This telepresence video conferencing system isn't mobile and doesn't come with its own screen, but it is compatible with most iOS and Android tablets and can pan and tilt to give you a clear view of the room. It comes with an AC adapter for charging, can be controlled with a compatible app and can be customized to fit your needs.

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MantaroBot TeleMe Review

The MantaroBot TeleMe is a mobile avatar that can connect to and use your Apple or Android tablet. While it doesn't come with its own video teleconference software, it is able to use any conferencing application that works with your tablet. It does not come on automatically, but it does feature its own camera, speaker and microphone. It is headset compatible and Wi-Fi enabled as well. A control interface is available for you to use over the web, giving you complete control of where the avatar goes and what it does.

This telepresence system is a mobile avatar with infrared sensors that prevent it from running into obstacles or people. At the top of the avatar is a port for inserting your Android or Apple tablet. While the system itself does not come with any type of video conferencing technology, it does let you use your table to use many different conference applications, such as Skype, FaceTime, Cisco, Vidyo and Google Hangouts. The screen resolution of your conference calls depends on your tablet as well.

The mobile robot is able to manipulate your tablet in such a way that it might feel as if you are actually present in the room while using the avatar. This telepresence technology can span the entire room and tilt up and down so you can see what is happening in the room.

The telepresence solution is Wi-Fi enabled and works by communicating with your wireless router. In order to control and use this system from a remote location, however, the PC, laptop or tablet you are working from must have internet access as well. This internet access gives you the ability to use the control interface. The application also requires a WebRTC connection, MantaroBot Communications Service or direct socket connection in order to function. A WebRTC control path and direct socket connections are available for free with this avatar, but MantaroBot Communications Service requires a monthly plan.

The telepresence video conferencing technology is compatible with Bluetooth headsets and also comes with a built-in speaker, camera and microphone. You need to purchase a docking station, however, if you want this option.

While this video telepresence system doesn't come with a docking station and requires a monthly plan for one of its control path connections, it does feature tablet and headset compatibility and the ability to connect to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It can pan and tilt as needed to provide natural communications between you and your staff.

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Polycom RealPresence HDX 4000 Review

The Polycom RealPresence HDX 4000 Series is a desktop avatar that has been designed to work well even on over-used IP networks. While the avatar is not mobile, it does deliver high-quality video and voice for your virtual meetings. The telepresence technology not only gives you the ability to make phone calls and video calls but also lets you share content and give presentations. It comes with a CPU and monitor that has built-in speakers and a headset input. A keypad is located at the base of the monitor.

This video telepresence system comes with a CPU and monitor with a bright LCD screen. Built in to the monitor are speakers and a headset-input port. The monitor can double as your desktop screen when you're not using it for video conferencing.

A key pad is located at the base of the monitor to assist you in controlling every action you want to take with the system. You can use this system to dial specific phone numbers and extensions. You'll also be able to control the volume and display options while in a video conference.

If you want to share content from your laptop or computer to the telepresence system, you can connect a VGA cable between the two. You'll be able to upload your data with this cord and preview it before sharing it with other users. Whether sharing content or making a video call, the LCD screen will deliver HD-quality 1080p screen resolution.

When not using this telepresence option for video conferencing or as your desktop monitor, you can tell the timer to go to sleep by setting a timer on the monitor. After this time has elapsed, the system will sleep until you need to use it again.

This telepresence technology is not designed to be used with your tablet or phone, as it comes with a large 20- to 24-inch display screen and is big enough to require a desk for use. It is not able to pan or tilt, either, and is intended for personal use by one individual speaking to others using the same type of technology. It does give you the ability to share and collaborate on projects, however.

This telepresence avatar and software gives you the ability to speak to individuals in remote areas without having to be present with them. It features a large display screen that offers 1080p screen resolution and can double as a computer monitor. The avatar isn't mobile and cannot tilt or pan, but the system has built-in speakers, a headset-input port and a key pad for controlling the software.

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VGo Review

The VGo system uses your Mac or PC and a specially designed avatar to allow you to communicate with individuals who are not directly in your presence. The avatar is remote controlled and features its own video screen and controls, which means your tablet will not be able to be used as the screen itself. It has a battery that lasts up to six hours, and a longer-lasting battery can be purchased as well. The telepresence video conferencing system does require a Verizon 4G LTE data signal or Wi-Fi in order to function and cannot be used by multiple individuals at the same time.

This video telepresence solution features a mobile avatar that can be remotely controlled. The avatar is not tablet or headset compatible but comes with a 1080p video display, microphones, a camera and handheld controls. This ability and its integrated features let you use the system in another location, while being able to see and speak to employees or coworkers. It is mobile, but it cannot go down stairs. However, it is lightweight and can be carried by others up or down stairs if necessary.

The system is equipped with a battery that can be used for up to six hours before charging. A power cord and charge dock are included to charge the battery, and you only need to press a button on the handheld control to let the mobile telepresence system know when to dock. A longer-lasting battery can be purchased if needed, and this battery will stay charged for up to 12 hours.

The VGo works using an application that can be downloaded to either a Mac or PC computer. The application can be used by 20 different individuals, but only one can control the avatar at a time. The PC or Mac must be connected to the internet for the system to work, and the avatar must be connected to the internet via Wi-Fi as well. The avatar Wi-Fi connection can only be bypassed if an optional Verizon 4G LTE connectivity is chosen and purchased.

The height of this telepresence solution is 4 feet, which let you interact remotely with users who are standing or sitting. The video display screen can be adjusted remotely as well, giving you the option of looking around the location.

While this telepresence system is not tablet or headset compatible, it does have its own video screen, camera and microphones. It also features a remotely controlled avatar that can move throughout a different location via your commands. The avatar comes with a battery that can last as long as six hours and a docking station for charging it while not in use.

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