In 1966, the idea of interacting with each other while separated by the void of space seemed as far fetched as, well the idea of being in space. That's precisely what the idea of telepresence is.
Telepresence is more than just video conferencing. The visual aspect is important and immersion is vital. In other words, the more convincing the illusion of telepresence, the more you feel like you're there.
In 2008, AT&T teamed up with Cisco in delivering the industry's first in-depth telepresence experience. The key to Cisco's TelePresence is the combination of audio, video and ambient lighting working together. These telepresence kits are designed to mirror surroundings and mimic sounds so that users on each side of the video conference will feel as though the images on the screen are in the same room with them. For instance, the people in boardroom A will see the people on the screen in boardroom B as though they are sitting across the table from them. The ambient lighting and room features are constructed to mirror each other. Sure, these telepresence kits are much more advanced than anything drummed up on "Star Trek," but perhaps that's because the show sparked our imagination so many years ago.