SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA--The challenge of current world economic conditions is set to drive uptake of video telepresence in the next three years, with the travel industry losing out, according to Gartner Inc. Gartner analysts predict that high-definition based video meeting solutions will replace 2.1 million airline seats annually, costing the travel and hospitality industry US$3.5 billion per year.
Speaking at the annual Gartner Predicts 2009 briefing in Sydney this morning, Gartner Fellow Steve Prentice said companies must educate themselves on the scope and capabilities of telepresence systems.
"The challenge of the current economic conditions demands that every organization revisit the need for face-to-face meetings," said Prentice. "Telepresence is not the answer in every circumstance and there will always be strong cultural and other reasons for face to face encounters, particularly in Asia. But not every meeting needs to be face to face and there is no doubt that telepresence and other approaches to virtual collaboration such as Immersive Workspace, which is built on top of Second Life, or yet to be released solutions will provide a real alternative for many businesses. Companies should put aside previous prejudices and bad memories of older video-conferencing services and seriously investigate these new technologies."