Unified Communications and Tele-presence
Unified communications ability is useful for everyday communications. The ability to easily communicate seamlessly via a wide range of integrated components would arguably better facilitate all types of communication
Unified communications is important in an emergency communication system. In an emergency, the ability to communicate life-saving and damage-mitigating notifications and instructions is very important, and the integrated and wide-ranging scope of unified communications would bear great benefit for emergency-oriented communications.
Unified communications allows for an individual to check and retrieve an e-mail or voice mail from any communication device at any time. It expands beyond voice mail services to data communications and video services
With unified communications, multiple modes of business communications are integrated. Unified communications is not a single product but a collection of elements that includes:
- Call control and multimodal communications
- Instant messaging
- Unified messaging
- Speech access and personal assistant
- Conferencing (audio, Web and video)
- Collaboration tools
- Business process integration (BPI)
- Software to enable business process integration
Presence knowing where intended recipients are, and if they are available, in real time—is a key component of unified communications. Unified communications integrates all systems a user might already use, and helps those systems work together in real time. For example, unified communications technology could allow a user to seamlessly collaborate with another person on a project, even if the two users are in separate locations. The user could quickly locate the necessary person by accessing an interactive directory, engage in a text messaging session, and then escalate the session to a voice call, or even a video call.
In another example, an employee receives a call from a customer who wants answers. Unified communications enables that employee to call an expert colleague from a real-time list. This way, the employee can answer the customer faster by eliminating rounds of back-and-forth e-mails and phone-tag.
Tele-presence refers to a set of technologies which allow a person to feel as if they were present, to give the appearance of being present, or to have an effect, via Tele-robotics, at a place other than their true location.
Tele-presence requires that the users’ senses be provided with such stimuli as to give the feeling of being in that other location. Additionally, users may be given the ability to affect the remote location. In this case, the user’s position, movements, actions, voice, etc. may be sensed, transmitted and duplicated in the remote location to bring about this effect. Therefore information may be traveling in both directions between the user and the remote location.
A popular application is found in Tele-presence videoconferencing, the highest possible level of video-telephony. Tele-presence via video deploys greater technical sophistication and improved fidelity of both sight and sound than in traditional videoconferencing. Technical advancements in mobile collaboration have also extended the capabilities of videoconferencing beyond the boardroom for use with hand-held mobile devices, enabling collaboration independent of location.