After a number of months, we here at Pilot Presence got our hands on an actual double itself and have spent a good amount of time using the device for engaging in what we would call proper proxy presence – being in two locations at once and engaging in work-related conversations instead of pure entertainment.
In our reading of the evals of the other devices by other reporters, we noted that the de facto “use pattern” that is reported on is the first efforts of using the device and their shortcomings. In our case, we have intentionally used the device, knowing full well of the limitations, and working within them.
Our metric for success is not about being a replacement for a person, rather how well does the device allow for a pilot to be effective in interacting with others in a remote location? In our evaluation, we are measuring the following attributes:
- Video: how well do people see us / we see them?
- Audio: how well do we hear them / they hear us?
- Navigation: how easy is it to move around in the office?
- Physical presence: how comfortable do they feel as we are in the office?
- Social presence: how comfortable are we in projecting in the office?
Now these metrics are designed around particular use cases – where the main purpose of the device is to provide a proxy for people working with others. So, our use cases have been:
- Collaborating with coworkers on a project in a meeting
- Collaborating with coworkers in a spontaneous fashion (by their desk)
- Being available via the device for unplanned conversation
- Being “present” (seen) by coworkers and management as “being there”
By engaging in these activities, we have formulated our opinions on the double and have both pros, cons and suggestions for improvement for the next version – that we assume will be out in the coming months.
Before you begin, lets us identify that we are enthusiasts of all of the telepresence robotic products on the market today and we do have a particular affinity to the Beam Pro due to our earlier involvement with it’s precursor. Please note that the opinions and feedback on this evaluation is for information purposes only and is designed to educate and enlighten both pilots and purchasers alike.