HP SkyRoom: Cheap Telepresence?
Reactions to TelePresence -- the next-generation video conferencing technology -- typically range from amazement to sticker shock. But Hewlett-Packard is trying to change the rules of the game with SkyRoom, a low-cost video conferencing offering for HP's PCs. Here's the scoop.
Reactions to TelePresence — the next-generation video conferencing technology — typically range from amazement to sticker shock. But Hewlett-Packard is trying to change the rules of the game with SkyRoom, a low-cost video conferencing offering for HP’s PCs. Here’s the scoop.
First, a little background. High-end TelePresence systems from Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard and other networking companies can cost $250,000 to $300,000 or more per conference room. But in recent months, Cisco Systems has launched lower-cost systems and an upstart called Lifesize Communications has been turning heads with low-cost solutions of its own.
Here Comes SkyRoom
Now, along comes HP SkyRoom — a $149 software solution for HP PCs. According to Reuters, SkyRoom offers:
“high-definition conferencing for up to four people over a normal business network. Users can also share any application on their personal computer, including streaming video and graphically complex three-dimensional programs.”
The VAR Guy is intrigued. But is this truly a TelePresence solution? Or is it merely a low-cost videoconferencing solution? Perhaps the answer to that question doesn’t matter.
Far more important: Videoconferencing is going mainstream on PC desktops, offering a new opportunity for VARs to upgrade their customers’ infrastructure and applications.