It used to be that the question was "Can you hear me now ?". With Skype and others, now we have, " Can you see me now ?". Both of these means of communications are still primitive. I have traveled extensively and getting a sense that you are working with some people on the other side of the earth is an interesting exercise. Jet lag is one issue, but feeling a presence in the room is not instantiated in a technology that currently exist. When I first saw this video that enables the Kinect to perform some 3-D monitoring, my mind immediately raced in the same manner it did when I discovered Matlab, the web browser, the e-mail. Right at that moment, I immediately needed it in a project or two. Right at that moment, I knew, like the other times, that this was not a pillar. Call it the caveman reasoning, but the feeling of being there in the same cave before the woolly mammoth hunt is really sometimes the same reason we go to work. This technology seems to deliver that.
The kicker in my view is that you could have this 24/7 telepresence for nearly free and for long periods of time. Which bring me to the question of the day: At what point does it cost more energy wise to be in this "24/7" telepresence mode than take a plane flying for 12 or 24 hours to meet face to face ? What amount of energy/time of telepresence is equivalent to being there ? 1 day, 1 month, 1 year, 10 years ?