The Internet of Everything is reshaping every aspect of our lives—including how and where we work. Think back to the 1950s, when the telephone was the only connected device in the typical office, and collaboration happened only when coworkers physically walked to a conference room for a face-to-face meeting.
Today, we take for granted an ever-expanding collection of connected devices and collaboration tools that didn’t even exist 10 or 20 years ago—smartphones, tablets, ”smart” white boards, online meetings, web video conferencing, online document sharing, TelePresence, social media—all helping us change the ways we communicate, collaborate, and share.
With the amount of new technical information in the world doubling every two years, the future holds the promise of even greater, faster change. Google Glass is just the beginning of a whole new category of wearable technology that will enable even tighter integration of technology with work and life.
Cisco® TelePresence® has transformed the way we collaborate—enabling immersive, face-to-face meetings at a distance, and access to remote experts anywhere in the world. What if that experience was combined with robotic technology, to give the remote user “location spontaneity”—the ability to move around a faraway space…have a chance encounter in the hallway or tour the factory floor?
That is why Cisco’s new joint effort with iRobot—demonstrated publicly this week for the first time—is so exciting: We’ve created a mobile Cisco TelePresence unit that brings collaboration to you—or, conversely, brings you to wherever you need to collaborate. Called iRobot Ava 500, this high-definition video collaboration robot combines Cisco TelePresence with iRobot’s mobility and self-navigation capabilities, enabling freedom of movement and spontaneous interactions with people thousands of miles away.