"Telepresence'" is raising a fundamental question about our existence. "I can see you, I can hear you, but where are you?"
The Covid-19 pandemic crisis triggered a tidal shift in our work environment from the shared central office to working from home. Teleconferencing technologies have become the new lifeline for our work and life. The current dominant model is the combination of audio-video conferencing (e.g., Zoom) and cloud-based digital information sharing. This model is lacking embodied interactions with people and objects using the tactile sensations we enjoy in our everyday physical environment. A sense of touch is critical for human beings to develop a sense of trust in other people. Additionally, abstract and ephemeral pixels on the screen cannot convey the sense of persistency found in the physical world. We believe the introduction of “tangibility” is a critical step in bringing audio/visual and digital telepresence to the next level and further engaging people. In this workshop, we are going to review the history of CSCW (computer-supported cooperative work), and discuss the future of telepresence technologies.