By Ian Bush

by technology editor Ian Bush

The science of being there without “being there.” That was the subject of a conference at Temple University on Thursday.

It’s called telepresence.

“Feeling like you’re actually with the other person, with the other environment, and the technology is relatively transparent,” explains Professor Matthew Lombard, who heads Temple University’s Mass Media and Communication Doctoral program.

Hear the full interview with Professor Lombard in this CBS Philly podcast…


He’s also the head of the International Society for Presence Research, which hosting ISPR Presence Live on Oct. 25 and 26.

Think back to that widescreen videoconferencing system that kept Jack Bauer’s team in the loop on ’24.’

“Now, we’re at the point where people have iPads and they use FaceTime” — and Skype, Lombard says.

Couples — as part of his research — have revealed how they use telepresence to be “alone together.”

“They would leave the connection on at night as they went to sleep, and even though they couldn’t see each other because it was dark, they had this feeling of comfort that the other person was there,” he says.

With applications of telepresence from business to the operating room, studies show we’re hard-wired to engage with the experience and forget the technology that’s enabling it.

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