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The New iPad: Why Telepresence Device Makers Should be Afraid
Techies may bemoan the $499 entry level price for Apple’s new iPad. But while that’s a goodly sum to pay for a 16-gig tablet, it’s a bargain basement price for a telepresence product.
By Mark Ingebretsen

Cupertino’s much-hyped product release provides telepresence on the cheap. Yes, you need a person to carry the iPad from room to room or focus its high-def video camera on a patient in a hospital or at the innards of a complicated machine tool that needs repair by an expert half a world away. But the need for human assistance is a minor issue when you factor in the Apple device’s easy learning curve and myriad other uses (Read CNET’s comprehensive iPad coverage.)

In work settings, where many variables must be monitored and controlled, the utility and value proposition of a tablet is hard to beat. Even iRobot opted not to re-invent the wheel when it chose to use the iPad 2 as the controller for its AVA telepresence platform. 

The question is how should the makers of other, more expensive telepresence devices respond?

Perhaps in several ways.

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Pat Kelly

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