People have predicted the slow demise of business travel for decades, primarily because it has always been assumed that technology would replace the need for it.
Why spend 10.5 hours on a plane when you can fire up a computer and talk face-to-face? Board meetings can be run using large plasma screens in executive offices dotted around the world? Etc, etc.
Video conferencing has found a role, without a doubt, but mass adoption of services and drastic falls in levels of business travel as a result? Not really, the wobbly global economy a few years probably had a bigger impact.
Nevertheless the industry is approaching the evolution of it all in different ways. Brian Beard of Amadeus explained a year ago why video conferencing will not kill business travel whilst Sabre, at around the same time, launched a global reservation system for video conferencing.
But still the services (or their prototypes) hit the market, often from outside the existing travel technology sector, and leave many wondering whether the next tool will be the one that leads to a seismic shift.
On the evidence of this device from Suitable Technologies, known as Beam, opinion will be easily split between those that consider it the trigger and others that perhaps marvel at the technology but fail to see any kind of adoption at scale.
Ignore the somewhat Ikea-like acting, but here is "Susan" having a meeting with her colleagues, working on and fixing a problem and, of course, doing it all from home.
[NB: For the pedants out there, we also presumed the colleague wearing the headphones was able to hear "Susan" behind him because of some kind of alert in his ear :) ]
NB: Hat-tip - TCTReview.