Ian O'Connell Interview on 4G Telepresence

8 Northumberland 4G telepresence 3

Earlier this year Ian O’Connell, Director of Musion Events and Charles Boyd, Director and Owner of 8 Northumberland Avenue, used the Musion technology to conduct a breakthrough Immersive TelePresence Q&A session. This entailed Ian being physically located at Carlton House Terrace and joining Charles on stage a few miles away at 8 Northumberland as a 3D holographic projection.


How does the Musion 4G wireless TP work?
Musion’s live Telepresence system uses its own patented codec and high-speed broadband networks to create the world’s fastest, two-way, public high-definition broadcast system. The image is then projected on Musion’s Eyeliner System which allows for 3D holographic images to appear within a live stage environment. The images are so real and potent that the viewer cannot comprehend what is real and what is holographic on stage. Musion has delivered 3D Immersive TelePresence events in the past for organizations like Cisco, RosTelecom and Orange using fiber optic cable and a dedicated network management system. However, on this special occasion, the technology was successfully demonstrated using eight 4G SIM cards in a box all working together to stabilize the signal and deliver the 3D image seen. This massively reduces costs subsequently making the technology available to a wider audience. 


8 Northumberland 4G telepresence 1What purposes can you use it for? 
Musion Telepresence opens up entirely new forms of communication, entertainment, and education. Executives located in a business’ headquarters can deliver a keynote address to employees in remote offices all over the world. A live concert can be broadcast anywhere in the world where 4G networks exist, enabling remote audiences to see, hear, and enjoy the performance in Holographic Musion 3D. A celebrated professor at one university can simultaneously lecture students in multiple universities around the world.


Do you have to invest in the hardware?
The costs are moderate and for a one off event the technology can be rented. Musion is able to deliver a full turnkey solution. Alternatively, if the client has a preferred AV supplier, Musion can provide consultancy, necessary licenses and installation of the proprietary flame retardant foil which complies with BS EN fire regulation standards. If a holographic projections TelePresence System is required on a permanent basis then investment in the AV equipment is necessary.


How many locations can it be broadcasted to?
A musician performing in London for example with the correct broadcast infrastructure could be performing to dozens of concert halls around the world simultaneously and the performer could be beamed up as a hologram. This certainly technically accessible now, commercially might be 2 or 3 years away.  


What do you do if poor reception?
The holographic image is transmitted by using eight 4G SIM cards in a box all working together to stabilize the signal and deliver the 3D image seen. 


Is the image realistic?
Musion’s Immersive TelePresence solution offers the ability to reproduce, between remote locations, the best characteristics of direct human interaction that result from face-to-face meetings. It creates a truly live experience, more immersive than talking to someone via a 2 dimensional screen.  It enables people physically located in one meeting room to see 3D holographic images of people in another location as if they were sitting opposite them.


Is it expensive?
The cost of the technology has come down due to 4G and it’s become more affordable and available to a wider market. Taking into account costs of flights etc, this is now a more valid proposition.  Telepresence is a well-known technology to aid a reduction in event costs and indeed carbon footprint: there’s no need to go to the expense of flying a key note speaker with their staff over from New York and paying for their accommodation.


Do you think audiences are ready for this?
Today’s younger generation are quite comfortable creating communities without the need for physical proximity so the whole digital interfacing on Facebook and on mobile phones is an acceptable medium as long as the performers perform live they do not have to have a physical presence. It can be digital proximity and we are very comfortable with creating community in that form. So that is definitely going to be all about high speed networks and all about Musicians being comfortable with the fact that what they are playing in one room is being heard on the other side of the world nano-seconds later.


Where do you see this going in the future?
The next step would be broadcasting to mobile devices, almost bringing the VIP performers and key note speakers to people’s homes. I also see brands exploiting the social networking capabilities of this and embracing the technology for their wider marketing efforts.








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