Monash University Leads the Way in Educating and Training Medical Students in Rural Australia with Cisco TelePresence3. April 2011
Cisco today announced that Monash University, Australia’s largest university, will use Cisco TelePresenceTM to provide a virtual, real-time connection between medical students on work placement in rural Victoria and teaching staff located at central campuses.
Monash University’s Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences is extending the in-person classroom environment to medical students on work placement in rural Victoria through Cisco TelePresence, an immersive, lifelike communications experience that combines high-definition video and high-quality audio to realistically convey the body language and human elements that are critical to the interactive nature of a classroom.
„In the online world you don’t need to fill buildings or lecture theatres with people and you don’t need to be trapped into a lecture timetable,“ says Peter Scott, director of the Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute.
Ann Arbor, MI – February 22, 2011 – Today, Internet2 announced a substantial
improvement to its real time collaboration offerings through a recent
investment in Cisco TelePresence Server infrastructure. Leveraging the
Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP) standard, the new equipment will
enable Cisco TelePresence to interoperate with standards based SIP and H.323
videoconferencing. Additionally, the Cisco TelePresence Video Communication
Servers will provide multiprotocol dialing and reachability.
In late January, a three-dimensional image of Princess Leia appeared at an engineering conference in San Francisco. The red, fuzzy avatar didn’t look as realistic as the projection of Princess Leia in 1977’s Star Wars, but it may prove a lot more important. The image created in San Francisco was a true hologram, not a studio special effect. It was created using cheap, off-the-shelf equipment. And it may point the way toward holograms someday becoming a commonplace form of communication.
A hologram is very different from the 3-D images that appear in movies or, increasingly, on TV. Those are images on a flat screen that use optical tricks to create the illusion, sometimes a very good illusion, of depth. A hologram recreates a true 3D image in space. The critical difference: If you walk around a holographic image, you’ll see its back side, not the blank back of a screen.
Princess Leia was the work of the Object-Based Media Group at the MIT Media Lab. The remarkable thing about it was that instead of expensive laser gear, it was generated using the hands-free Kinect controller from a Microsoft Xbox 360 as the sensor and off-the-shelf video hardware to recreate the image. (The poor quality camera in the Kinect explains some of the fuzziness of the hologram.)
Cisco CEO John Chambers, who boosts holography as part of the company’s telepresence push, has done his own Princess Leia act. In 2009, he appeared in person at the Cisco Globilization Centre East in Bangalore, India, while holographic versions of Cisco executives Martin De Beer and Chuck Stucki, who were physically in San Jose, joined him on stage.
Could electronic communications someday soon take the form of face-to-virtual-face conversations with a hologram of your mother, girlfriend, or boss? In a world where videoconferencing is just starting to catch on, the idea seems a bit far-fetched. But an in an IBM survey of 3,000 researchers, respondents named holographic video calls as one of the five technologies they expect to see in place by 2015.
Like other advanced imaging techniques, holographic communications could find its initial uses in health care. „“A hologram of a patient can be beamed right to the home of the doctor, who could rotate the image and make a diagnosis,“ Verizon Communications Chief Information Officer Shaygan Kheradpir told CNET News. Speaking of his physician father, Kheradpir said: „Just think of how much more time he would have been able to spend with his family if he had this technology. „He would not have had to go into the ER as often as he did. Most times all he needed to do was ask someone to open his mouth and say ‚ah.'“
One thing that has to happen before holographic communications can become commonplace, especially for consumers, is a considerable increase in network capacity. Internet connections that can barely handle a decent quality videoconference will need an upgrade to cope with the much greater number of bits needed to project a real-time hologram. „You need a consumerized high-speed network in place to deliver specialized services like holography,“ says Kheradpir. „It’s all about scale. And without scaling the infrastructure, it’s too expensive to offer something like this.“