A fine State-of-the-Internet vision talk by Grodon Bell

Rohit Khare (khare@pest.w3.org)
Tue, 19 Mar 96 00:00:16 -0500


> This talk is really about bandwidth.
> How much do we need and when do we get it?

> I think of a new world like telepresence as having various
> dimensions. The three dimensions are: (1) the mechanism
> - how is telepresence accomplished; (2) the application
> - what is achieved using telepresence; and, (3) the group
> structure - who is using telepresence. The first is based
> on technology and the other two are social. We engineers
> tend to concentrate on the mechanism. That is, what are
> we providing from a pure channel standpoint? And what
> should go from text to video to graphics, white boards
> to sketch on, and the control of shared programs and
> data.
> The 2nd dimension is what are we going to do with
> telepresence? Are we simply communicating, are we doing
> interviews, or are we creating a ^virtual hallway~ to
> stroll to accomplish ^management by walking around~? Are
> we attempting to design something, or solve a problem?
> Or, are we conducting a formal meeting run by Robert's
> Rules of Order? These questions are answered only when
> we have enough real telepresence users. Research on
> collaboration doesn't mean anything unless you've got
> enough instruments deployed in real world situations.
> The critical social dimension is the structure of who's
> communicating, who's collaborating, who's being
> teleported, and how is the teleporting occurring? This
> begins with simple one-to-one interaction, goes through
> highly distributed groups and finally mob scenes with an
> unlimited number.
> Two-site conferencing, including person-to-person and
> video conferencing, provided by AT&T's Picturephone
> Meeting Service (PMS), in 1978, is the most common.
> PictureTel and others evolved this into an industry. When
> AT&T started, they began with a dozen different
> Picturephone sites. I was one of the first users when
> DEC was doing the Ethernet deal with Intel and Xerox. We
> needed to meet, but didn't have the time to travel so we
> spent a couple of hours meeting via Picturephone and
> agreed to go ahead with the deal even though it was our
> first meeting together.

> So, what do I think we want if I'm not satisfied with
> Internet-2? what do we need as Internet-3? First, there's
> nobody who's got a vision for it. No one's said: "This
> is what its got to be. Let me put my stake in the ground.
> First we want a dial tone for high speed symmetrical
> links. Whatever the network's going to be, it must be
> symmetrical. You can send to me, I can send to you at
> the same time and data rate. That's an important part.
> Symmetry is the key . I want to allow bit warehouses or
> bit stores or bit places for audio, nice images, or
> television. And then, 4D so we can do virtual reality.
> That's a bandwidth question. With that we can do the tele
> stuff. That is we can do the remote conferencing, remote
> work and remote business. I think those things are needed.

(Microsoft's BARC is much milder than its bite... I mean, they could just
*buy* PARC, you know)