Telepresence is the quality of sensory feedback from a telerobot, which allows for a person to feel as if they were at a particular place. "The fundamental purpose of a Telepresence system is to extend an operator's sensory-motor facilities and problem solving abilities to a remote environment.

It is a type of video-conferencing session that feels like a live meeting, because the users are teleported using the Telepresence, thereby affecting the remote location. The screens are large enough to render people in life size or near life size proportions, and the audio comes from a speaker near the person talking, Telepresence requires that the users’ senses be provided with such stimuli in order to give the feeling that they are actually in that place.


It was first termed Telepresence in the 1980 by Marvin Minsky. Minsky had a vision of imitating an older version of teleoperation; main aim was giving the remote user a feeling of actually being present.

The pioneering company of Telepresence was founded by David Allen and Harold Williams. The idea was created to help business people attend meetings without leaving their hotels. Thereby lengthening their hotel stays. The idea didn’t become popular until the big companies like HP and CISCO took an interest in the market, in 2007 David Allen sold his company destiny conferencing for 60million dollars.


Benefits of Telepresence identified include:
• Reduces the cost of travelling, thereby saving time.
• Improves employee’s work life and balance.
• Improves productivity.
• It’s more superior to phone conferencing, i.e. enhancing communication, allowing for the people to have a perception and see the facial expressions and body language.

A video of Telepresence presentation on YouTube

Related technologies

Video calls: A video call is a peer-to-peer connection whereby users can have a conversation over a network. E.g. webcam calling like Skype is a very good example of video calls as they are relatively cheaper than video-conferencing.

Video-conferencing: they are relatively more expensive than video calls and tend to deliver a higher quality of service. It allows users to communicate via a live two way transmission.

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