HP intros system to increase face time

HP has introduced what it claims is a first-of-its-kind collaboration studio for simulating face-to-face business meetings across long distances. The HP Halo Collaboration Studio enables people in different locations to communicate in real time.

The Halo Collaboration Studio already is at PepsiCo, Advanced Micro Devices and DreamWorks, which collaborated on the broadcast studio system.

To connect via Halo, organizations purchase at least two Halo rooms set up for six people each. There are three plasma displays in each room that enable participants to see whom they are talking to. The rooms come equipped with studio-quality audio and lighting, and participants use a simple on-screen user interface to begin collaborating with just a few mouse clicks. The services offered with the system include network operations and management, remote diagnostics and calibration, concierge, equipment warranty, and ongoing service and repair.

The rooms cost about $550,000 each; pricing falls as more rooms are purchased by the same companies. Network and service fees in the United States are $18,000 monthly per room. These fees vary in other countries. Go to for more info.