For effective human interaction, nothing beats a face to face meeting, but we are getting closer. As you can see in the amateur clip below Telepresence is already available. Three 65-inch plasma screens set around a meeting table display other location participants in full size, with the closest to physical presence experience that you can get. With a 1920 x 1080 resolution and 30 frames per second of h264 video, the quality is astonishing. Both 720p and 1080p resolutions are available, requiring 3-9Mbps or 9-12Mbps bandwidth.
Heavily promoted by Cisco, although also available from others, this is a great application to fill the pipes for the fiber services that are becoming available in US, Japan and other developed markets.
If videoconferencing is already popular in corporations as an important improvement to audio conferences, Telepresence really becomes a serious alternative to travelling. You will think twice before flying for short meetings if you have the option of Telepresence. No wonder, Cisco is expecting this to be a $1 billion business.