Earlier today, I had the privilege of witnessing a beautiful, touching reunion of five young children from Shanghai, known as the “Shanghai Five”, with their parents. The only catch was that the children were in New York while their parents were back home in Shanghai. The children are in New York for a month to perform with the National Dance Institute (NDI), a fantastic life-changing experience for them for sure, but not without the expected dose of home sickness.
So it was a real treat for them to be able to see their parents again after so many weeks away from home, albeit over the high-definition, 1080p screens of Cisco TelePresence. The video below captures only the first few minutes when the children first see their parents but it will give you a good feel for their joy. With the children are Jacques d’Amboise, founder of the NDI, his Artistic Director Ellen Weinstein, two teachers from the Shanghai Children’s Palace, who accompanied the “Shanghai Five” to New York, and several other dancers from NDI.
The reunion is the first of the Cisco and Tata Communications Family Reunion Program where both companies extend the use of their TelePresence facilities to families in Shanghai who have relatives in other parts of the world. The program will run until the end of October this year with the families in Shanghai connecting out of the Cisco Pavilion in World Expo while their families could be virtually anywhere in the world within reach of a Cisco or Tata TelePresence suite.
Peter Quinlan of Tata Communications put it best when he said this program is an opportunity for us to take a business tool and extend it to just about anyone. The beauty is to just sit back and watch them engage. After a few minutes, the interaction becomes so natural that they feel like they are in the same room.
The Cisco Pavilion at World Expo is built around the vision of the Smart+Connected Life of 2020. In reality, this technology is available and affordable to many of us today. TelePresence in your home? It’s bound to happen sooner or later…