Cross-country and international travel is expensive. Three or four trips to London, Paris or Taiwan a year and you’re spending at least $16,000. What if you could spend that much and be in Europe and at home as often as you want? That’s what Suitable Technologies’ Beam Remote Presence System promises.
Here’s how it works. Beam connects to your network via a Wi-Fi or cellular broadband connection. Roughly 5.5-foot-tall, it has a large LCD screen atop two slim bars and a rolling base. There’s also a charging station. Beam usually starts there so it’s fully charged when you’re ready to “travel.”
If you’re controlling Beam, your view is via your computer or laptop. You drive Beam with a joystick or, more commonly, the arrow keys on your keyboard, while Beam cruises along at up to 3 miles per hour. Your webcam beams your face to the Beam device, so your disembodied head looks like you’re wherever your Beam is. It’s like your own personal transporter, without the dangerous (and currently impossible) Star Trek hardware.
Why I’m Curious: It’s interesting to see technology giving control to the user. Where someone would normally be restricted by communicating via a remote location, this technology allows the user to navigate where they want. This could potentially connect people even more closely than social has been.
Source: Mashable http://mashable.com/2013/01/09/beam-remote-telepresence/