UK Tech Week: Philips launches affordable video conferencing

A new line of video conferencing systems launched today at UK Technology Week aims to take "video conferencing beyond the boardroom by making it an affordable part of everyday business life", says Philips.

Live demonstrations of the 230 and 430 video conferencing suites are taking place at Earl's Court this week. Exhibitors can talk live to Philips employees at the company's HQ in Eindhoven, or to the TMA exhibition in Brighton.

With prices starting at under $2000 (£1,220) Philips marketing manager Alex Waterman says: "By cutting the cost of high-performance video-conferencing, Philips will create the market breakthrough the business world has been waiting for. It brings closer the day when a video-conferencing system will be a standard part of every office, as the PC is today".

According to spokesperson Elle Gibbons, "the product is now shipping and Philips have pretty much exhausted the supply of new models and are now trying to catch up with huge demand."

But not everyone is convinced by the video conferencing technology, with many executives still preferring to jump on an airplane for a face to face meeting rather than glaring into a monitor and many analysts predict a slow takeoff for video conferencing systems.