Telepresence technology allows anyone with an internet connection to connect live with activities happening on the ship. This concept is not new, as telepresence technology has been applied in many ways for decades by government agencies and private industry. It has only been in recent years, however, that this technology has been adapted for oceanographic work to connect scientists, teachers, and students on shore to live images and real-time data from ships at sea. Telepresence is providing a portal into the excitement of oceanographic discovery and demonstrating to a broad audience the importance of exploring and protecting our largely unknown ocean.
The application of telepresence technology for ship-based work is extremely efficient as it permits unlimited access to personnel on shore, transcending schedules, expertise, skills, and abilities of traditional shipboard teams. Telepresence also enables the development of partnerships between geographically dispersed groups who otherwise might not have the opportunity to collaborate due to cost or logistics.