Cisco Blogs

VOTE: Cisco TelePresence? OR Second Life?

September 2, 2008 - 2 Comments

Dan Farber, editor in chief of CNET, is in a video today chatting with Joe Miller, VP of platforms and technology development at Linden Lab, the company that created and owns Second Life. In the Between the Lines blog by Larry Dignan, he states Miller: “explains how Second Life has become a competitor to Cisco’s Telepresence in conducting international meetings, group projects, and even recruiting and job training.”So, all due respect to Second Life and other virtual worlds, which definitely play a role in the overall collaboration conversation, to suggest that having a virtual avatar in a virtual room is somehow as effective as being across the table from a life-size, high-definition picture of a real person (or persons) via Cisco TelePresence is pushing it. Nothing beats a real face to face conversation and, if you can’t have that, the next best thing is Cisco TelePresence. Collaboration has a lot of tools in the tool-box and WebEx and other unified communications tools play a role as well in this conversation, but, let’s be honest, Cisco TelePresence is the Dom Perignon, Rolls-Royce, Rolex, Bentley, etc. in the collaboration workspace. As stated, virtual worlds play a role too, but to suggest that Second Life is a competitor to Cisco TelePresence is a bit much. As Dignan says, “I don’t quite buy Miller’s take.”

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  1. I don’t think this is an either or…I say a vote of YES for both :-)When I talk about TelePresence it is always as a ‘this is where you close the deal’ or ‘have a NDA conversation’. The high definition video and immersion of the face to face experience in Telepresence can’t be beat.Second Life and other virtual worlds are a bit more accessible for the average global user though. So this space is a great for starting the conversations and connecting global groups. Also, the folks sometimes will share ideas or feedback more readily as an avatar as they have a sense of anonymity.

  2. It appears to me that, even in corporate environments, cars are usually Ford or Toyota – not Rolls-Royce or Bentley. And talking about wines, actually most people can’t even appreciate Dom Perignon (myself included).I mean: these products (Second Life vs. TelePresence) offer _really_ different features and feeling. But their costs too are _really_ different. They fit to different usecases.