Today I saw a description of the TiLR telerobot, a remote controlled camera & screen that is supposed to stand in for you at a meeting. It’s value proposition is that it is cheaper than Cisco’s Telepresence and mobile enough to be moved between meeting rooms.
Compare it with the flexibility afforded by a virtual world client of virtually any kind, running on any PC. The telerobot can only look, listen and talk. Your avatar in a virtual world setting can do all that for a whole lot less money, and it can demonstrate concepts, guide you through a prototype design, show you a web page, show you a streaming video, present you with a gift, add you to group of friends, manipulate a molecule, perform in a live concert, run a training session – the list goes on. With virtual worlds appearing on high-end phones, or being streamed via the Vollee service to phones with video support, it’s hard to imagine anything more mobile and more flexible for remote meetings.