Reach out and see someone: Century rolls out newest gadgets for phone customers

Reach out and see someone: Century rolls out newest gadgets for phone customers

Kent, Joan

Eye contact. Any snoozers at the board meeting. The exhibits. The arguments and agreements.

It can all be yours via video conferencing.

The innovation, which enables callers to see as well as hear each other, was among the latest in telephone tools displayed by Century Telephone at its Technology Forum Tuesday.

Video conferencing is already being used by businesses, health professionals and educators, said Alma Kohnert, regional public relations director.

Health professionals in different locations can use it to view and discuss patient information, such as an X-ray. Educators can use it to teach classes far from the teacher.

The cost of the equipment has gone down from $100,000 to between $20,000 and $40,000, she said. The cost of depends on the distance, she said.

Businesses are finding that video conferencing is less expensive than paying for travel, said Duane Ring, division manager.

In La Crosse, Kohnert said the Heileman Brewing Company has it and Western Wisconsin Technical College is considering it to provide long distance classes.

Desktop video conferencing, in which telephone users receive images on their computer screens, is available for about $5,000 setup cost, Kohnert said. That also allows users to share data files so they can look at information and discuss it, she said.

And, the homes can be equiped with video telephone for $800 to $1,200. It’s a great way, for instance, for grandparents to see their grandchildren, she said.

Copyright La Crosse Tribune Aug 11, 1994

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