A second attempt with Blogger. (Now No Longer in Beta) Note: The contents of these pages are my own personal views and in no way represent the views of the agencies for which I volunteer or the countries in which they are based. Peace.


Photo Credit: Sun Microsystems Laboratories

With Sun’s prototype “porta-person,” someone working remotely can be “present” at a meeting as a box with a display showing either his or her actual face or a line drawing of a generic face. Stereo microphones allow the remote worker to hear the direction from which a person in the room is speaking; the remote worker can then swivel the box to “face” that person and speak to him or her through stereo speakers.

Technology Review reports that the porta-person is already used by researchers at Sun's laboratory in Burlington, MA and there are plans "to test it more widely within the company before deciding whether to commercialize it." I hope they are quick about it, I have to go real bad.

"Nicole is obviously dealing with a big problem, motivated by Sun's own use of the technology; it addresses their work practices directly," says Schmandt. "It is an important and growing problem, not just because more people are working out of homes or at odd hours so they can raise their kids or save a few bucks on gas. Organizations are increasingly global, which means people spread across space and time zones."

The reason that this story appears on this weblog rather than elsewhere: I recently had a telephone call from a facilitator and at the end of the conversation he suggested teleconferencing as a means of participation.

Looking back, I suspect this was an assessment of my fund-raising ability. You know, get my family and friends to send money to the post office box by way of Money Gram and Western Union.

4 Responses to “Porta-Person”

  1. # Blogger pelle


    Not sure I get the link between participative teleconferencing and fundraising? Does the SUN article mention fundraising as one of the purposes for this Porta-Person?  

  2. # Blogger jcwinnie

    Understood. When I talk to myself, I forget that someone might overhear.

    The person suggested my coming to New York City. I explained that if I could travel to NYC, my priority would be to travel to Virginia and see my Mother who is not doing well.

    Then the person suggested that people could come to the city where I live, and I explained that I would rather not have such an appointment to make, that sometimes I miss doctor's appointments, at a doctor's office three mile away because it is too difficult to get there.

    So the person suggested teleconferencing, and I admitted some familiarity with this approach. It was an expensive, proprietary Intel system at the teaching hospital. I never had the proper hardware on my home PC to try CU-SeeMe, which was a FOSS equivalent at the time.

    Hope that clarifies some my maundering.  

  3. # Blogger pelle


    Yeah, when you talk to yourself on the internet, chances of being overheard are bigger than when you just mumble out loud... :)

    "the truth of the matter is that with RSS the information has been distributed"

    At least your last comment explains the link between the Porta-Person and the teleconferencing... the link I find missing is between someone calling you and suggesting he wants you to raise funds among your friends and family?

    If I say "Hi" you check your pockets?


  4. # Blogger jcwinnie

    >> If I say, "Hi", do you check your pockets?

    Well, not necessarily. If you are associated with an organization, the members of which are relentlessly assailing me for money by every cybernetic means afforded them by said organization, and the only way that I know you is through my association with the same organization, then, yes, I probably will discreetly check my pockets when you say "Hi".

    Bear in mind that I am of a generation / era where a common saying was, "Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean that they are not out to get you."  

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