I love Skype. Like really, who doesn’t love Skype. I can talk to virtually anyone on the planet through it, and can even hear and see them clearly. But what if I could tell you that USF has something that’s like Skype — but on steroids?
TelePresence is used by offices around the world to have meetings around the world — but without paying the airplane fares. These meetings are done virtually, through TelePresence, but you might as well be sitting right across from whomever you’re speaking to. The screens in such rooms are so big, that you can see the entire meeting room.
USF has two TelePresence rooms — one in Malloy Hall 405, on main campus – and the other at the Downtown distributed campus. This allows the two campuses to communicate easily, without dealing with transportation. Through these TelePresence rooms, you can communicate virtually with anyone else in another TelePresence room. For this, though, you will have to wait until around Thanksgiving for ITS to complete the TelePresence deployment and integration with the Cisco Jabber client. Most of you, probably, haven’t seen or heard about these rooms, but this is because they were just installed at the end of this summer.
Before you get too excited though, you should know that you must be allowed to book a room to be able to reserve this room. This means that although most faculty and staff can use this awesome feature, only a few students (such as club presidents) can use it. That is, of course, unless you tag along with someone who has access to the room.
The display sizes can vary, depending on how much money the particular departments want to pay. USF’s TelePresence rooms have a whopping 55 inches of HD screens. Each TelePresence room has two of these screens. So much for Skype’s awesomeness…