203. HALO TELECONFERENCING SYSTEM
Telework is an obvious technique for eliminating oil consumption due to car and air travel, and the technology is rapidly improving. The latest development is a teleconferencing system called "Halo" developed by Jeffrey Katzenberg of Dreamworks and HP:
In an effort to cut down on travel and boost productivity, Mr Katzenberg looked into videoconferencing in 2001 and found it clunky, unreliable and fiddly. So he asked his boffins to devise their own system. They teamed up with HP and the result, launched this week, is called Halo.SourceThe system is expensive ($18,000/month for single Halo room), but apparently the quality is outstanding. It's catching on in the corporate world, and already eliminating unnecessary travel:
"It's designed to create 'as though you were there' collaboration," says Mr Katzenberg. Instead of travelling to his office in Britain every three weeks, he now goes every four months. Halo is, in short, the videoconferencing equivalent of flying in the corporate jet.
DreamWorks now has nine Halo rooms, HP has 13, Advanced Micro Devices has two and PepsiCo has five. Procter & Gamble and Novartis have also signed up. HP hopes to sell more than 100 Halo systems next year. Users say that while previous videoconferencing equipment was rarely used, their Halo rooms are in use around the clock. Hector Ruiz, boss of AMD, says Halo has cut travel between his firm's facilities in California and Texas. Steve Reinemund, boss of PepsiCo, says that every chief executive to whom he has shown the system has decided to buy it, too. (Source: same as above)
-- by JD