Adding Google Ads to the Site

From: Editors of Pilot Presence
To: Our Readership
Re: Ads on the Pilot Presence site

Recently, our editors have been discussing how we are able to cover the costs of maintaining our site. In order to not impact our readership, we have chosen to go with Google Adsense to help our readers.

We are going to test this for a short period and if you, our readers, find the ads to be too distracting or not beneficial, please send us an email. We are reachable via the Contact Us page and would appreciate any feedback to help us understand how we can improve our coverage and (hopefully) generate revenue.

Thanks again for your readership.

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UPDATE: Edward Snowden appears at TED2014 via a Beam!

Simply put, why was Scott Hassan in Vancouver? Because TED2014 was happening there – and, instead of bringing Snowden physically, the Beam offered Snowden a way of connecting via remote presence. And Chris Anderson demonstrated the excellent way of communicating as a remote person incredibly well.

UPDATE: TED puts out the video of Snowden and allows for downloads of the talk.

photo credit @jamesjoaquin
Snowden at TED2014

photo credit @chrisfralic
snowdenbot

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Remote Presence Links for March 18, 2014

One of those things when running your own site is that it can get so overwhelming that you can not remember when you are to publish each and every article you find. And recently, while here at InnoRobo 2014, a number of great articles have risen to the top to show others what is happening in the world of remote presence. To wit:
Hassan Beaming in

More to come…

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iRobot announces availability of Ava 500 to “regular” customers

Fresh off a trip to CES (back in January), it looks like iRobot is reacting to market forces and announcing the “availability” of the Ava 500 in time for the Enterprise Connect Conference in Orlando.

We have discussed the Ava 500 a number of times in the past and will have our assessment of the device soon, but for the benefit of iRobot, we are happy to share the announcement video for the Ava 500.

Only thing: availability may be limited since the listing is not on the iRobot site, and according to the press release, only available through select Cisco resellers and/or distributors. And since finding those resellers might take time (we looked for Yorktel and could not find them) — and the process of getting everything signed off for the proper purchase of the device might take anywhere from three to six months, we believe that “delivery” is still two quarters away.

h/t to Engadget

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PilotPresence at MIPIM 25

mipim2014-logo-25-years-338x80-blackThis past week, the team from PilotPresence visited Cannes, France to demonstrate their two Beams and a double at the London Stand with Canary Wharf at MIPIM 25. Due to the generosity of the team at Level39, we were able to show both the concept of piloting from locations in England and the US while allowing the MIPIM visitors to experience “remote presence” in the pantry of Level39.

london-standUnlike a typical tech conference, MIPIM is showing some of the world’s investors and property developers the future building efforts in locations around the world. With the Beam and double, PilotPresence demonstrated the possibility of remote presence to investors and developers around the world. As you can see, the Beam made quite a spectacle.

If you are visiting from MIPIM, feel free to connect with us via our Contact page.

h/t to Susan Freedman @propertyshe

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Double and EE makes it to the BAFTAs with Fanbots [video]

Now here is one of those amazing situations where a marketing effort goes incredibly well.  Unlike the appearances on The Good Wife or the Colbert Report where the double comes off somewhat silly, EE (the 4G carrier in England) created a chance for two of their subscribers to use two doubles dressed up as reporters on the red carpet, engaging celebrities on their way to the BAFTAs.

In all honesty, this is the perfect video to show how people are getting exposed to the concept of remote presence.  And what a way to do it.

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Suitable announces a little Beam (or actually the Beam+)

Last week, at CES, we stopped by a number of the remote presence booths and caught up with the teams at Kubi and Double, but the surprise of the trip included a slight shuttling into Suitable’s private room at their booth. After a brief delay, Scott Hassan pulled back a white sheet with a flourish and there stood three new devices for demonstration.

Suitable Beam+

Beam+ wanting to join your family

The Beam+ seems to be Suitable’s answer to vGo’s offering and Double’s play using the base technology of the original Beam and to offer a more family-friendly play (as seen in their promo photos).

The Beam+ stands about 4.5 feet tall and supports many of the same features of the original Beam (including the same motors, microphone array and control software), technical improvements (including HDR-based camera and a higher-resolution screen) and cost reductions (including one wifi radio instead of two, a smaller physical screen size). Upon launch, Suitable plans on having the specs for the Beam+ at this URL: https://www.suitabletech.com/beam-plus/

And, in a move that is sure to annoy other players in the space, Suitable is offering the regularly priced $1995 Beam+ for a pre-order reduced price of $995 for the first 1000 pre-orders. Suitable is preparing to ship the pre-orders in the third quarter of 2014, but rumors have it that orders will roll as soon as manufacturing gets going.

Now we wait to see how the enthusiasts react to the Beam+. See the Suitable press release after the jump.
Continue reading

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Finally! Pilot Presence meets double — in the flesh!

Readers – in our recent travels, we were walking along the edges of the Hard Rock Casino at the Robotics on the Runway, sponsored by CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) and Living in Digital Times and we ran into the team from Double Robotics.

For the first time, we got a chance to chat with David from Double where we discussed the origin story of double robotics. Instead of repeating the story, we learned that Tech Toys 360 on the Discovery Velocity Channel has a terrific video that presents the origin story along with additional details and visuals on the “innovative device”.

Continue reading

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UPDATED: Anybots shows off their Q(X) Virtual Presence

Wow – when the Xmas season happens, all of the players come out with new toys. Polycom had their XmasHoliday Event last week and Eliane Fiolet happened to capture a couple of snappys of Anybot’s newest device – the Q(X).

courtesy of ubergizmoWe are thrilled to see the team at Anybots are pushing for a platform play (our assumption on the use of the Q-sub-X designation) and hanging on the Anybots Q(X) platform, they have a bunch of the Polycom kit (see the Polycom mic here). Based on the past announcements with Anybots and Cisco, we assume that the Q(X) platform will be configurable with other telepresence video solutions in the near future.

From the photos, we see a couple of pieces of other kit:

Continue reading

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Spotify Engineer experiences Remote Presence and lives!

With all of the increased visibility of the double on TV (see the double in action on The Colbert Report), what is missing is a first-person account of the use of the double.

Courtesy of one of our readers, we were alerted to a great article by a Spotify Engineer Henrik Kniberg discussing his use of the double for a Lean Tribe meeting in Stockholm.

Waiting for everyone elseWhat is notable about his experience is the issues of being a “drunk tetraplegic with bad hearing and a weak voice”. The challenge with most of the remote presence systems on the market today is exactly the issue he focuses on the most.

Tetraplegic, because I’m effectively paralyzed from the neck down – the double doesn’t even have legs or arms. I could see and hear, and I could roll around like in a wheelchair. But slowly and carefully, and I sometimes needed assistance when things got in the way.

Sometimes I got assistance, even when I didn’t need it, which felt both good and bad at the same time. Gradually people noticed that I could get around quite nicely myself, with some patience. I can’t turn my head, but I can turn my whole vehicle from side to side to see what’s going on. Of course, I don’t know what it’s really like to be a tetraplegic but I guess it’s probably something like this.

Drunk, because that thing sways quite often to stay in balance, and sometimes bumps into things or trips on small objects and falls flat on it’s face (happened only once, but it felt horrible).

Bad hearing and weak voice, because of the background noise in combination with my rather limited microphone and speaker. I often couldn’t follow the conversation going on, and people had to lean in close to hear what I was saying.

Now, the real challenge with the double is not the application — since the locomotion system is excellent. But given the limitations of the iPad and the network, along with the inverse pendulum, it is still an interesting connection.

This report is reminiscent of the video on the NYTimes regarding “Robo-Beltzner” and how individuals interacted with the remote presence device at Mozilla.

The fun will come when double offer an alternative to the iPad and handle the various issues that currently make the situation still amusing, rather than a norm.

h/t to @hkanji

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