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Remote conference attendance by web-proxy

from the entrepreneurial-opportunity dept.
WillWare can't make it to all the Foresight conferences, and has an idea on how to address this problem: It would be cool to remotely hire somebody (local to the conference) to strap on a wearable computer with a camera, microphone, loudspeaker, and wireless internet connection. I could remotely observe conference goings-on on my home computer, and I could talk to people at the conference. For the amount of time that I was hiring this person, he or she would wear a hat or t-shirt with my name and picture. It might take a T1 line or a cable modem to get acceptable bandwidth, but after a very few conferences it becomes a lot cheaper than airfare, a hotel room, and a rental car. Read More for the full proposal. WillWare writes "I was going to submit this as a response to Chris's "Let's meet in Toledo" posting, but it's too far off-topic there. As an East Coast person, I don't always get the opportunity to attend Foresight events or other West Coast happenings. I would like to throw out a proposal with which some entrepreneurial type can make megabucks, as long as I get to be a customer. I suppose you could call it "conference attendance by proxy".

It would be cool to remotely hire somebody (local to the conference) to strap on a wearable computer with a camera, microphone, loudspeaker, and wireless internet connection. I could remotely observe conference goings-on on my home computer, and I could talk to people at the conference. For the amount of time that I was hiring this person, he or she would wear a hat or t-shirt with my name and picture. It might take a T1 line or a cable modem to get acceptable bandwidth, but after a very few conferences it becomes a lot cheaper than airfare, a hotel room, and a rental car.

A different version would be appropriate for speakers' sessions. No need to tie up a human proxy when a stationary camera/microphone/loudspeaker (the loudspeaker enabled only during the Q-and-A session) could service a number of remote attendees. The human proxy's job would mostly be schmoozing and doing lunch with people. (Though it might be a little wierd to try to have a serious conversation with somebody who was simultaneously flirting with my proxy.)

This idea occurred to me while hiking around a national park with my parents and sister and her husband, looking at Anasazi cliff dwellings. We're not all equally athletic, and I might have been content to sit in an air-conditioned hotel room wearing VR goggles and asking a virtual tour guide to wander over here, point their camera that-a-way so I could grab a photo, see what's over there, etc. A large virtual tour group might share a single virtual tour guide (maybe the only person actually on-site), using either a shared audio channel or something like an IRC channel. A bilingual tour guide could be helpful for virtual travel overseas. I think the one thing I'd really miss would be tasting the local foods, so some other entrepreneur would need to tackle transcontinental pizza delivery next. "

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