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'Til We Meet Again

Teleconferencing -- the next best thing to being there.

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This story appears in the June 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

It's invaluable for meetings where participants are scattered around the country--or even around the world--but there are some limitations to teleconferencing, namely not being able to see the body language of the participants. St. Paul, Minnesota-based product manufacturer 3M takes teleconferences to the next level with its new line of user-friendly remote meeting products.

The 3M Videoconferencing System VCS3000 takes advantage of a fast 128 Kbps ISDN line to provide high-quality video images as well as audio-only teleconferencing via analog lines. A built-in Web server allows users to share PC-based graphic presentations (which can be displayed at the same time as the video feed by using the picture-in-picture window feature) as well as perform remote diagnostics of the unit. Unlike many higher-end units, the VCS3000 doesn't require technological expertise to operate. Setup is automatic, and the user interface is easy to understand. Priced at around $6,000, the VCS3000 supports all major audio and video standards.

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