Vgo Communications Introduces First 'Active Presence' Solution to the Workplace

VGO enables a remote worker to not only see, hear and talk, but also move around and be more productive in distant locations

Jun 08, 2010, 08:00 ET from Vgo Communications

LAS VEGAS, June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Vgo Communications today announced its ground-breaking visual communications solution at the InfoComm tradeshow. VGO is the first "active presence" solution for the workplace. Active presence is game-changing in that it enables people to escape the stationary bonds of traditional videoconferencing / telepresence and actively work in a remote environment. VGO is a completely new solution designed for organizations looking to increase productivity, reduce costs and overcome the challenges of working at a distance. VGO combines two way audio and video capabilities with robotic enabled mobility to allow a person to have their presence represented in a distant location. Not only can a remote person see, hear and talk but they can also drive around just as if they were there. For under $5,000 plus a service contract, organizations can mobilize distant employees who need to manage, who contribute their expertise, who monitor activities and facilities or who just want to visit. Limited quantities will be available this month with general availability at the end of the summer.

"VGO gives a remote person complete independence," said Brad Kayton, CEO of Vgo Communications. "With VGO, you transport yourself to wherever you need to be – to the branch office, to the manufacturing line, to the classroom and then move around just as if you were there. It's much more than calling to a location, it is going there and being actively present. This unique capability has been extremely well received by our trial customers and reseller partners."

VGO is Unique

VGO active presence is comprised of the remote VGO device and the local Vgo PC App which are joined securely by VgoNet, a specially developed cloud-based overlay network.

A remote worker establishes their presence in a distant location using VGO, a 4 ft tall stylish audio / video communication device. The remote person's live image is displayed on the LCD display and they can be heard through VGO's integrated speakers. With its intelligent drive system, a distant worker can maneuver in tight spaces and turn within VGO's footprint. VGO can move from a snail's pace to a brisk walking speed. Sophisticated sensors and behavior algorithms ensure stability and safety. VGO's camera acts as the eyes of the remote person providing any desired view just as if they were looking around. VGO can also easily take hi-resolution snapshots and transfer them instantly back to the remote worker for closer visual inspections. The remote person hears with incredible clarity from all directions via VGO's four integrated microphones and adaptive audio sub-system. VGO does not require any actions or training by people who work in the locations where VGOs are being used. People interact just as if the remote person were there with them.

The remote person uses the specially designed Vgo PC App on their PC or laptop, to see, hear and move around just as they were there themselves. The Vgo PC App also replicates their voice and video image back at the VGO. Both the VGO and the Vgo PC App are connected through VgoNet, a Vgo Communications-built cloud computing network service that enables high quality communications while ensuring that stringent security and privacy requirements are met.

VGO is the result of more than two years of development and more than a year of customer trials and partner evaluations. Vgo Communications' team of experienced video and robotic experts advanced the underlying technologies required to develop a solution that meets the needs of the workplace. That combined with the recent ubiquity of wireless and broadband networks have enabled Vgo Communications to bring to market a product set that is simple to use, secure and low cost.

Careful attention to communications design has resulted in a high quality experience despite the challenges associated with a moving platform. Equally important is the unique physical design of the VGO and its ability to go wherever the remote worker requires. "Active Presence devices have not been available for the workplace until now," continued Brad Kayton. "VGO is friendly looking, non-intimidating and moves as if the remote person were there walking around. It's interesting in that our trials have shown that remote employees who are using VGO, actually command more attention than if they were there in-person."

Applications for VGO

VGOs have been trialed by more than 40 companies in a range of industries. Customers have identified applications within their organization where a remote person benefits from the use of VGO in performing his/her job. Manufacturing, retail, healthcare, education, large enterprises and small to medium businesses have all used VGO successfully.

"We used VGO for remote management and coaching of our outbound call center staff," said Neal Creighton, CEO of RatePoint, a rapidly-growing Internet business based in Boston. "Over a quarter, we measured our performance using VGO, and realized a 30 percent increase in sales. We have become avid fans of VGO. It would pay for itself in the first month of operation."

VGO applications fall into three categories:

  • VGO Expert. With today's pressure to get the most out of limited resources, having the right people in the right place is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive. Vgo enables you to have the right person, at the right time, and in the right place. Vgo can be used for remote management by team leaders and department heads. Vgo can be used for telecommuting by travelling VIPs. Vgo can be used for telehealth by select health care specialists. Vgo can be used by graduate school class teaching by remote professors. Vgo can be used for coaching by distant mentors. Vgo can be used for training by busy knowledge workers.

  • VGO Monitor. VGO has been used to monitor facilities, processes and people. Security employees can use VGO to investigate an event before dispatching a person. VGO can be used by inspectors to audit and confirm an organization's operational procedures and safety policies. Healthcare workers can monitor hospital or at home patients with no action on the part of the patient. Results have shown that VGO can improve employee productivity when the boss is "actively present" even without direct interaction.

  • VGO Visit. VGO can been used to visit people and facilities in situations where you would normally have to be there to get the full benefit. Healthcare organizations can make VGO available to family members of the residents in their senior care facilities and hospitals. Divisional managers can catch up with their peers to find out what's really going on. All types of organizations can give prospective clients tours of their distant facilities or headquarters and introduce the important people in the sales cycle.

VGO Reseller Partners

VGO is sold, serviced, and supported nationwide by a set of experienced certified resellers. A charter member partner program has been in effect to enable select resellers to become certified in preparation for product general availability. These partners are leaders in their markets and have a proven track record in selling the benefits of visual communications and have the infrastructure to support customers that will have VGOs widely distributed around the county. They include: AVI-SPL (based in FL), IVCi (based in NY), Omnipresence (based in MA), Providea (based in CA & MA), RPS Communications (based in TX), RoData (based in PA), and SKC (based in KS). They deliver and support visual communications solutions today to enterprise Fortune 500 companies as well as to small and medium businesses.

VGO Availability

First deliveries of VGO to the reseller channel will be later this month. Resellers will be taking orders for VGOs which are scheduled for general availability in September. VGOs can be reserved now on www.vgocom.com.

About Vgo Communications, Inc

Vgo Communications, Inc. develops and markets visual communications solutions for the workplace. Originally North End Technologies, the company was founded in 2007 by experienced successful veterans of visual communications and robotics industries. Vgo Communications is VC backed and is based in Nashua, NH. We are leveraging the recent trends of widespread wireless high speed networks, lower specialized component costs and the universal acceptance of video as a communications medium to create a new market category called Active Presence.

For more information go to:

http://www.virtualpressoffice.com/public/kit/VgoCommunicationsINFOCOMM2010

SOURCE Vgo Communications



RELATED LINKS

http://www.vgocom.com