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Tele-presence is a technique that is used to create a sense of physical presence at a remote location using necessary multimedia such as sound, vision, and touch. This concept is believed to have come from science fiction which has been described as conceptual versions of virtual reality (VR) and telepresence by science fiction writers.

Tele-presence was coined by Marvin Minsky in 1980 in reference to teleoperation systems for manipulating remote physical objects. Witmer and Singer defined Tele-presence as the subjective experience of being in one place or environment, even when one is physically situated in another.

Tele-presence also called virtual presence. This is a networked paradigm by nature, and multimedia communications are used for the transport of information between the user and the remote site. The sense of presence is achieved by generating sensory stimulus so that the operator has an illusion of being present at a location distant from the location of physical presence.

Examples of fields where Tele-presences application is used are telemedicine, remote surveillance, entertainment, education, and other situations where humans are exposed to hazardous and hostile environments.

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Effectiveness of Tele-presence

  1. Tele-presence has been widely used in the business world as a means to hold meetings between individuals that may be in different states or even different countries. By using this, the company saves money on many items, such as travel, food, fuel, and sleeping arrangements.
  2. Tele-presence is used to aid the deaf, the hearing impaired, mute, and those who know sign language. The video relay allows at least two people to communicate through sign language in order to communicate. This enables greater access to the computer, and to find and give the support of others who may be in the same situation as they are.
  3. Tele-presence is also been used in education. Professors and students could quickly and easily relay a lecture, presentation, or perform a skit. This may enable universities around the world to reach remote areas where students may not be able to safely attend class, or the college is too far from the student.
  4. Tele-presence has also been used by the U.S. military. The military has begun to meet deployed members over the software. The software allows a more in-depth connection between each person and provides a means of sharing experiences with one another. These meetings most recently became common in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  5. Telepresence helps enable remote surgeries, in which the patient and doctor are in two different locations. Though it is still a beginning endeavor, remote-controlled robots are combined with live video to allow doctors to perform basic surgeries, such as gall bladder surgery and cholecystectomy.