There must be a lot of people who feel guilty (or whose bosses make them feel guilty) about not being in the office, even when they're sick, on vacation, on maternity leave or just don't live in the same part of the planet as their workspace. The problem of absent employers participating in meetings was solved years ago by (a) the speakerphone; (b) the conference call hub; and (c) teleconferencing software. With the Internet, nobody has to be physically present for a meeting anymore. But there's more to working in the office than just going to meetings.
The existence of telepresence robots suggests that there's a demand for devices that actually make you seem to be at the office when you aren't. Nobody's invented interactive holographic projections yet, but android substitutes are more or less on the way. The technology is still in its infancy. Nobody will think they actually saw you at the office, but telepresence robots like the Beam+ offer an early equivalent -- assuming you don't mind that your doppelganger is a rolling, 4-1/2 foot long, metal arm with an iPad mounted on top.
The Beam+ has an obvious appeal. It lets you maneuver your remote presence around, see through its "eyes" and talk through its speakers. It's not just for the office, though the iPad (or Android-based tablet) with your face on its screen is set to the height of a person sitting in an office chair. It can also be used to go on virtual vacations with friends and family or let you be at home with the kids when you're at work.
There's something slightly risible about the appearance of the Beam+, which may explain why it's been gently mocked in recent years on TV shows like The Good Wife. But, judging from reviews, office workers seem to like it and many no longer seem to find it weird that there's a walking iPad around the office. Go figure.
Excellent product. Very easy to interact with others and hear with much better sound quality than a phone call.
It's actually so good that we are planning on purchasing these and sending them to our offices in India in order to assist with daily operations and training remotely.
Perfect for use in a business environment, to facilitate discussions during work meetings with colleagues, or for personal use.
Beam+ is ideal for those who are away from home or live far away from their friends and family. It is connected to any WiFi network and controlled by a PC.