Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Engadget: Suitable Technologies introduces Beam, the remote presence device (hands-on)

Suitable Technologies introduces Beam, the remote presence device (hands-on)
Sep 26th 2012, 04:00

Suitable Technologies intros Beam, the remote presence device handson

Telepresence is a booming business these days, with high speed wireless networks enabling plenty of folks to enjoy the pleasures of working (or attending class) from the comfort of home. While some such devices leverage the power of tablets or smartphones, the visual and audio quality such systems deliver often isn't up to corporate standards. Enter Suitable Technologies and its Beam remote presence device (RPD). As a spinoff of famed 'bot builder Willow Garage, the folks at Suitable figured they could provide a high-fidelity telepresence experience by building an RPD from scratch, and that's precisely what they've done with Beam. Its brain is a 1.3Ghz Intel Core i3 CPU and it moves around courtesy of dual brushless electric motors driven by an integrated car battery. That battery fills up in right around six hours using the Beam Dock, and the LED lamps underneath the screen shine whenever Beam is being used. Users, or "pilots" see where they're going via two Logitech HD webcams sporting custom lenses that grant near 180-degree views and zoom capability -- one's front-facing, and one points down for easy navigation in tight spaces. Connectivity comes courtesy of four WiFi antennas (two 2.4 GHz and two 5GHz) to ensure a solid connection at all times, while the seven microphones provide top-notch voice quality and noise cancellation. Oh, and there's a 17-inch monitor and a speaker on board to faithfully replicate what pilots look and sound like.

We got a chance to meet the Beam's makers and take the RPD for a spin, so join us after the break to see a video of the thing in action and learn more about Beam's development.

Continue reading Suitable Technologies introduces Beam, the remote presence device (hands-on)

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Suitable Technologies introduces Beam, the remote presence device (hands-on) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 26 Sep 2012 00:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Written by Hasloo Network staff.