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  • Writer's pictureStuart

TelePresence on "24"

Season 6 of 24 came to a conclusion last week, with Jack Bauer utterly knackered after yet another exhausting day without a moment to catch breath.

The franchise's use of wonder-technology is well known: super-fast data connections, real-time satellite imaging and a team of CTU operatives who can hack into any computer on the planet in an instant.

However, the stand-out gizmo of the series was showcased on episodes 20 and 22 with the most blatent piece of product-placement in television history. But I didn't care because it was so darn cool.

Vice-President Daniels needed to speak to Russian Premier Suvarov, and instead of a conference call, he requested a "TelePresence".

Cisco are ever-present on the show with the familiar ringtone of their IP Phoneconstantly punctuating episodes. They've had a fair smattering of their other products in recent series too. However, their new TelePresence 3000 made a dramatic debut on the show to provide a key face-off scene between the leaders of two superpowers standing their ground and threatening war.

The real-life TelePresence system comprises three landscape Hi-Def plasma screens lying side-by side along one side of an oval table. With seats on the other side and strategically placed cameras, microphones and speakers it gives the illusion of being in the same room with with your collegues or counterparts.

Frankly it looked fantastic, and on looking at Cisco's website, you can see how each of the three screens can take feeds from different countries. How amazing is that?!

Far from being an intrusive piece of product placement (although the Cisco logo was on screen for a little too long), I thought it was great to see a piece of real technology showcased.

It's just lucky that both the White House and the Kremlin have Cisco as their telecoms supplier...

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