Hanselminutes on 9 - Embodied Social Proxies (and Remote Video Heads!) with Microsoft Research

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As a remote employee, I'll do anything to make my job easier and more importantly, to get folks at work to REMEMBER THAT I'M OUT HERE. You can only do so much with Video Chat. I just wish I had a physical presence on campus. Well, the folks at MSR (Microsoft Research) are doing some research into what they call "Embodied Social Proxies." Basically, how will a team's relationship with a remote work change if there is a physical stand-in (er, Embodied Social Proxy) that they can interact with. It's more than just a table with a webcam. Check out the video!



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    The Discussion

    • User profile image

      Cool, you can turn off your collegues if you don't want to listen or sneak up behind them.

    • User profile image

      That is by far the coolest science fair project, I think mine was on finger printing in high school.  Your science fair project pwned mine Wink.


      This actually reminds me of that movie Surrogates, where people were avatars of themselves.  Certainly we are a long way from that, but this is really a cool social experiment.


      Suddenly I want to go and play with robotics and software Smiley

    • User profile image

      Very cool stuff! the Polycom CX5000 (previously Microsoft RoundTable) looks like a pretty cool piece of hardware. The $3,000 to $4,000 price tag is much better than Cisco's TelePresence, but it is still too expensive for use in most distributed small business. Seems like the use of multiple cameras with one pan/tilt and one wide angle is a good cost effective alternative.


      Keep up the great work!

    • User profile image

      Thanks for that video link! I hadn't seen that they'd rebranded the hardware.

    • User profile image

      Where is the camera on John's setup? He appears to be looking straight at you, but that isn't typically the effect when the camera is mounted on top of the screen. 


      I find making eye contact to be a really difficult aspect of using web cams, and I was really interested to hear if they'd addressed that. 

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