beamNow here is what one might deem to be as close as one can get to a hologram of sorts. Sure, it is not the conventional hologram that one would think of, but rather, it comes across as a robot avatar known as Beam. Beam, the remote-controlled robot avatar allows one to have a physical presence in two places simultaneously, and this is made possible thanks to a 17” display and a six-microphone array, allowing you to be seen as well as heard face-to-face. Imagine using the keypad to “walk” around the room so that you can “interact” with other folks, all without having to hop on a plane and make a cross country flight.

Originally developed by San Francisco Bay Area robotics studio Willow Garage, founder Scott Hassan decided to start a new company known as Suitable Technologies, which will focus exclusively on Beam alone. Beam is not going to come cheap though at $16,000 a pop, which means it has been designated to be the most expensive remote-presence system at the moment. Hassan shared further, “For the consumer market it seems expensive. But it’s not an expensive enterprise product. Our enterprise customers aren’t worried about the price. Instead, they’re impressed by what it can do.”

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