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My seven-week old son, Jack, is scheduled to visit me at work today. I’m excited to show him off and I know he’s excited to see where his dear ol’ dad works. It made me think, however, if this time-honored tradition of the kid visiting the parents workplace will still be with us when Jack has kids. With technology advancing like it is…video, chips, broadband, storage, etc….will Jack even have a physical office…or will his office be virtual using holographics?Jack Earnhardt - one month old.jpgJack Earnhardt -- one month oldI’m personally very skeptical of “Second Life.” And, yes, to a degree, I mock what I don’t understand. However, I do think that at some point in the future, the virtual world will be as useful and important to the workplace as the real world. Will Jack’s kids visit him in a physical workplace where he joins with colleagues to collaborate? Or, will his office only exist in a virtual world where the holographic Jack brings his holographic kid to visit his holographic colleagues? I’m thinking that this isn’t too far off from what it may be like.Cisco announced our TelePresence solution late last year…it allows you to sit across from a high-definition video colleague, customer, client or whomever WHEREVER they are and talk real-time just like you really are sitting across the table from them…when, in reality, you are in San Jose and they are in London. (And, yes, I have seen people try to reach into the TelePresence video screen to “shake hands” after a meeting.) My best guess is that this will evolve so that your holographic self will sit down in a meeting room with your holographic customer, client or colleague. It will be huge for saving the environment as business trips will be drastically cut…it will not, however, be huge for the airlines.So, I’m pretty bullish on this collaborative Internet technology thing. And, I’m bullish on Jack as well, but mostly I’m just looking forward to his visit today.UPDATE: Jack slept the whole time he was here…and, he’s very popular with the ladies.

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