Designing the Perfect Video Conference Room with the End Users in Mind: Telepresence without the High Cost

By Pedro Espinoza, Michael Pitcher, Oscar Perez, Hugo Gomez, Randy Anaya, Hector Lugo and Herminia Hemmitt.

Published by Journal of Technologies in Knowledge Sharing

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: May 13, 2016 $US5.00

We are a group of technology researchers and classroom designers at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) that took the challenge of re-designing an outdated and underutilized videoconference room on campus. In this article we explain in detail the design elements and ideas that were implemented at UTEP to plan and construct a videoconferencing room that mimics a telepresence environment. The heart of the design incorporates certain elements to make the far-end participants feel as life-like as possible to their local counterparts, and in the process make communication more effective. There are several telepresence systems and complete room installations on the market that are extremely expensive and essentially out of reach for many schools, universities, businesses, and other organizations. Our solution eliminates the need for hiring external, expensive consultants and audio-visual specialists. Instead, it focuses on a do-it-yourself approach that implements very simple design elements that will simulate a high-end telepresence experience for the users. This can all be done at a fraction of the cost of a full-fledged telepresence ecosystem.

Keywords: Videoconferencing, Telepresence, Conference Room, User-Centered Design, Classroom Design, Learning Environments, Meeting Space

Journal of Technologies in Knowledge Sharing, Volume 12, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.1-18. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: May 13, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 4.593MB)).

Pedro Espinoza

Instructional Technologist, Academic Technologies, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, USA

Michael Pitcher

Director, Academic Technologies, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, USA

Prof. Oscar Perez

Instructional Technologist, Academic Technologies, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, USA

Hugo Gomez

Instructional Technologist, Academic Technologies, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, USA

Randy Anaya

Student Technology Success Coordinator, Academic Technologies, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, USA

Hector Lugo

Instructional Technologist, Academic Technologies, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, USA

Herminia Hemmitt

Building Services Coordinator, Academic Technologies, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, USA