HP has unveiled new collaboration software designed to let dispersed teams communicate and share information and 3D images.
SkyRoom is billed by HP as a "visual collaboration and conferencing solution ". It has been formally announced today, but was demonstrated to press at an HP workstation event in Los Angeles last week.
The conferencing system combines the features of HP's Halo telepresence technology with its Remote Graphics Software (RGS), which lets users access 3D images and rich media files from a remote desktop or share them with colleagues.
HP said that SkyRoom will work on any system, not just HP technology, and will require a broadband connection. However, the firm was tight-lipped on specific technical, availability and pricing details.
Jim Zafarana, vice president of HP's Workstation Global Business Unit, said that the cost of SkyRoom would be about one per cent of the overall equivalent cost of travel. He added that it is currently in beta and being tested with key customers.
Zafarana demonstrated SkyRoom at the event with the help of HP's Worldwide Workstation Product Marketing director Jeff Wood, who conferenced in from a remote location. The pair showed how a 3D model on Wood's PC could be shared with Zafarana, and any changes or movements Wood made to the model would also appear on the screens of all conference participants.
Speaking at the LA event, Guillaume Jacquemin, chief information officer at Renault F1, said that SkyRoom could be useful for the motor racing firm as a means of communication between its UK and French sites.
"It's a real collaboration tool with proper 3D performance, but it's not quite there yet," he said. "In the second half of this year, we could see a benefit from this package."
Jacquemin cited the user experience and support for HP's RGS as two areas that required improvement.
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