Abstract: Imagine a teleconferencing system that’s so realistic, so natural, that you feel you could reach out and shake a participant’s hand, even though the individual may be sitting in a room hundreds or even thousands of miles away. That’s the idea behind telepresence, an emerging teleconferencing technology that’s designed to not only connect people together but to make them feel like they’re all collaborating together inside the same room. Telepresence provides an immersive meeting experience based on the highest possible levels of audio and video clarity. Ideally, participants are life-sized. Ide ally, every sound, gesture, and facial expression are replicated in high-definition (HD) video and high-fidelity surround sound. The ultimate goal is to make telepresence and in-person meetings virtually indistinguishable from each other. “Telepresence has a great potential for getting people to work together collaboratively, efficiently, and naturally regardless of their physical location,” observes Zhengyou Zhang, a principal researcher focusing on telepresence technologies at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington. With business becoming increasingly global, and travel getting ever more expensive and cumbersome, telepresence’s popularity is soaring.