Say Goodbye To Frequent Flyer Miles With The HP Halo

Halo Collaboration Studio.jpgHP doesn't want you to travel the world for work. They don't want you to earn enough frequent flyer miles travelling business class to the US so you can enjoy a European holiday at Christmas time without spending a cent of your own money. No, they want you to stay in the office, conducting important international business through their new Halo teleconferencing setup. Especially when the starting price for a single room setup is $153,000, plus monthly ongoing costs of at least $23,000.

The service uses a dedicated fibre-optic network that's always on and has enough bandwidth for real-time high-definition video streaming. You can connect with multiple locations at the same time, while a HD overhead object camera lets you zoom in and read documents from anther location easily. The main camera automatically adjusts to foster "eye-contact" as well, making it feel like you're actually just sitting across from the person on the screen.

There's a variety of setups available, which you can read all about in the press release after the jump. In the meantime, let's think about what else you could buy for $150,000 if you decided to instead just use the (albeit unreliable and not really HD) Skype for video conferencing...

HP Halo Removes the Barriers to Global Communication

HP Halo: Be there without going there

Overview HP Halo is a fully managed, end-to-end video exchange solution from Hewlett-Packard that brings people from across the globe into an environment that looks, sounds and feels as if they are just across the table. Participants see each other in life size images, projected on high resolution displays and can communicate with no perceived delays, regardless of how far apart the teams may be, whether in neighbouring states or across the globe. This experience creates a live, virtual meeting room providing the clarity to work face-to-face and eye-to-eye, read body language and foster stronger business relationships. HP Halo reduces the personal cost, time, stress and environmental impact of business travel.

HP Halo Telepresence Solutions offer a global, fully managed service - The HP Halo Telepresence Service. As part of this end-to-end service, all Halo rooms operate on the Halo Video Exchange Network (HVEN), a dedicated fibre optic network designed specifically for optimal and reliable video collaboration.

With HVEN, customers enjoy bandwidth that is always available - with no requirement for bandwidth scheduling. Additionally, through the HVEN and HP Halo Multipoint, customers can connect to multiple locations around the world at one time, including studios inside and outside of their company. Consequently, customers can easily collaborate face to face with their suppliers, vendors or partners in real time, anytime.

HP and TANDBERG have recently joined forces to provide traditional videoconferencing customers with greater quality, reliability and productivity. The alliance will offer greater access to products and services that can unite globally dispersed teams and enhance the communication experience. The HP Halo Video Collaboration Service will be available for the full range of TANDBERG conferencing systems, including TANDBERG Total Telepresence offerings services, while offering customers additional flexibility and choice in purchasing collaboration products.

HP Halo Telepresence Solutions are available in three configurations to meet companies' diverse communication needs:

HP Halo Collaboration Studio Each physical studio is optimised for six people but can easily seat up to 12 Can be installed in offices around the globe where specific spaces can be allocated for the studios Through HP Halo Multipoint, users can connect multiple locations at the same time at any given time

HP Halo Collaboration Meeting Room Easily seats six people Flexible design that is engineered for installation within an existing, larger conference room space Because no build out is required, businesses are able to keep site-preparation time and costs to a minimum

HP Halo Collaboration Centre Makes the HP Halo experience more accessible to executives and small groups It is HP's smallest and most adaptable telepresence solution Available as a two-seat or four-seat model Both models offer all of the benefits of HP Halo Telepresence Solutions and an innovative industrial design that is optimal for an executive or small group Can be placed in a variety of locations, including an executive's office or a conference room

HP Halo - Key features HP Halo Multipoint allows simultaneous connections with multiple locations around the world at no additional cost HP Halo Multipoint features a proprietary three-axis-control camera system, which automatically adjusts for superior eye contact Dedicated, high-definition collaboration channel enables participants to easily share documents, presentations (including those with sound) and motion-picture quality digital video from their notebook PCs using the high-definition collaboration screen mounted above the displays Award-winning graphical user interface (GUI)(1) improves ease of use, allowing even new users to connect to multiple locations worldwide with just a few clicks of a mouse. The GUI's native language capabilities localise languages to meet the specific needs of each user. Users can select up to 15 different language options in each HP Halo location High-definition, overhead object camera(2) enables individuals to zoom in on objects or hard-copy documents on the table, revealing the finest of details, from colours to patterns. These images can be shared with participants in other HP Halo locations via the overhead collaboration screen Exceptional design and components including fully duplexed spatial audio with echo cancellation, broadcast-quality cameras and optics and executive furnishings The Halo Technology Refresh ensures that all components critical to maintaining the Halo experience remain current(3) and that the customer benefits as HP develops new innovations to improve levels of service Language Line Services(4) provides HP Halo customers with an easy-to-use and confidential interpretation option from English into more than 150 languages, including sign language

HP Halo - Benefits for business Accelerated enterprise-wide productivity and ability to make business decisions faster and with greater control, using a fully HP-managed collaboration solution engineered for simplicity. Organisations avoid the cost and risks of network and technology infrastructure upgrades with HP Halo's global, fully managed solution accountability and highly responsive worldwide support. Users can focus completely on using Halo for faster business results without worrying about bandwidth scheduling, making costly upgrades to an existing corporate network or hiring additional IT support staff. Senior managers don't spend countless hours travelling the globe—at a large cost in dollars and lost productivity, and with a major impact on the environment. Informal benchmarks found that several HP business groups were able to reduce their travel expenditure by 43 per cent as a result of the Halo Telepresence solution.

HP Halo - Environmental benefits § Organisations can support efforts to minimise greenhouse gas emissions and costs associated with business travel while fostering more personal connections. If a team of four people uses a Halo studio instead of flying from Sydney to HP's corporate headquarters near San Francisco, they can avoid emitting more than 10,000 kilograms of airline related CO2 emissions. § Plasma displays used in Halo Telepresence Solutions go into standby mode, and lighting automatically shuts off, when the room is not in use, resulting in a 40 percent reduction in energy when the room is in standby mode compared to normal operating mode.

HP Halo market adoption HP Halo has seen consistent customer and network growth since launching in December 2005. As of January 2008, there are more than 140 HP Halo Telepresence Solutions in operation or being installed globally in 22 countries on five continents. These countries include: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK and the United States.

Local customers HP currently has an assortment of customers who have purchased and are utilising Halo rooms in the South Pacific region. While most of these customers wish to remain private, the industries they serve include accounting and financial services, mining, diversified resources, and food and beverage.

Pricing and availability

Configuration

List Price (Qty = 1)

Monthly Managed Service (Guideline)

HP Halo Collaboration Center Two Seater

$120,000 US $153,000 AUD

$17,900 US $23,000 AUD

HP Halo Collaboration Center Four Seater

$135,000 US $173,000 AUD

$17,900 US $23,000 AUD

HP Halo Collaboration Meeting Room

$249,000 US $319,00 AUD

$25,000 US $32,000 AUD

HP Halo Collaboration Studio

$349,000 US $447,000 AUD

$25,000 US $32,000 AUD

Halo Video Collaboration Service (HVCS), our guideline monthly pricing ranges are the following for primary urban areas: § Telepresence (3 screen) = AU $22,999 § Telepresence (1 Screen) = AU $16,999 § Meeting Room Endpoint = AU $5,999 § Desktop Endpoint = AU $4,999

(1) HP Halo's graphical user interface received product design awards from IF and Red Dot. (2) The high-definition overhead object camera is standard with the Halo Collaboration Studio and available as an add-on with other Halo telepresence configurations. (3) Does not include any components or elements that change the functionality of the endpoint, and does not guarantee that the Halo experience will be enhanced beyond what the customer originally purchased. Technology Refresh updates are released solely at the discretion and timing of HP. (4) Customers that have contracts with LLS have the option of immediately engaging an LLS interpreter via phone, or, with seven days' notice, as a visible participant via an HP Halo Studio in New York, Chicago or Washington, D.C.

About HP HP, the world's largest technology company, provides printing and personal computing products and IT services, software and solutions that simplify the technology experience for consumers and businesses. HP completed its acquisition of EDS on Aug. 26, 2008. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com/.