Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof Promotes Bitnation Across the Globe via a Telepresence Robot

Journalist:
November 20, 2014

Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof, the charismatic leader of Bitnation, gave a talk at The Global Summit in San Francisco from Copenhagen, using a telepresence robot.

The Beam telepresence technology by Suitable Technologies allows a remote operator to drive a wheeled robot with a display unit for the operator’s head video feed, and interact with on-site participants in realtime.

“The BeamPro fulfills the need for shared awareness between people, places, and things. It embodies the remote individual, or pilot, with his or her authentic presence, and immerses the individual using reliable low-latency audio and video for natural communication, interaction, and control to the benefit of everyone involved.”

Not yet fully immersive virtual reality with holographic projections, but given the very fast development of telepresence technologies, that will surely come soon.

The Global Summit initiative was launched in 2008 in San Francisco by social innovators, sustainable business leaders and visionary organizations to lay the foundations for a new system of collaboration with the potential to change history. The Global Summit fourth biennial meeting, titled “Women, Power, Money & Politics,” took place in San Francisco, November 16-18 at the SF Women’s Building.

The awesome Bitnation project aims to provide the same services provided by traditional governments, but in a geographically unbound, decentralized, and voluntary way. In other words, Bitnation wants to make traditional governments obsolete by showing that we, the people, aided by modern technology, can do the government’s work much better. Recently, former Bitnation advisor David Mondrus and his wife Joyce became the first couple to use the Bitcoin blockchain to register their marriage, and Bitcoin enthusiast Christopher Ellis has developed the world’s first crypto-passport built on the blockchain technology.

CCN reached out to Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof to get her impressions of the telepresence-mediated event.

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Susanne, what are your impression of the telepresence technology and procedures used. Was it (near) life-like? What did you see on your viewer? Could you feel that you were walking and talking to people?

It was really very cool! The Robot was kindly provided by Beam Smart Presence, and they gave me some basic training the day before on how to navigate the robot. It was so much fun! I could see people in front of me through one camera, and I could see the floor beneath me through another camera. I could also zoom in and zoom out. If I wanted to see things on the side I had to turn the entire robot to the side, though.

It felt like real-life in the sense of driving around in a slow pace and running into people and starting to chat spontaneously. It was slightly awkward though, as opposed to a real life encounter, because people are so not used speaking with a robot, and the whole interaction becomes slightly strange. But people at the conference thought it was awesome, lots of people took selfies with the robot :)

Do you think telepresence robots are more immersive than videoconferencing and permit easily suspending disbelief and “being there”?

Oh yes, absolutely! It’s an entirely different experience. You can drive around, chit-chat with people, listen to other lectures, hang out in the crowd during breaks, etc…

Do you look forward to using the same tech for other talks?

Yes, very much so! I loved it!

What did you say in the talk?

The Global Summit is very concerned on how to empower grassroots around the world, so I spoke about how Bitnation aims to provide voluntary governance services, partly enabled by the Bitcoin Blockchain technology. People in emerging and frontier market will access a range of services which they didn’t have access to previously or choose to not use because how bad it was, which will empower them socially and economically, from corporate incorporation, to land deeds, to marriage and other family contracts, insurance and security. I also talked about the Bitnation Ambassador Network, how it was really shaping up to becoming a worldwide movement for better self-governance tools amongst Bitcoin enthusiasts and entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

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What do you think of telepresence and Bitnation’s plans? Comment below!

Images from Suitable Technologies and Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof.

Last modified (UTC): November 20, 2014 12:13

Tags: Bitnation
Giulio Prisco @giulioprisco

Science writer, software developer, Bitcoin/crypto enthusiast.