Difficult economic conditions are set to drive uptake of video telepresence in the next three years, with the travel industry losing out, according to Gartner.
The analyst firm predicted that high-definition-based video meeting solutions will replace 2.1 million airline seats annually, costing the travel and hospitality industry $3.5 billion (£2.5 billion) per year. This is one of the firm's top 10 predictions for the year.
"The challenge of the current economic conditions demands that every organisation revisit the need for face-to-face meetings," said Gartner research director Robin Simpson.
"Telepresence is not the answer in every circumstance and there will always be strong cultural and other reasons for face to face encounters, particularly here in Asia. But not every meeting needs to be face-to-face and there is no doubt that telepresence and other approaches to virtual collaboration such as Immersive Workspace, which is built on top of Second Life, or yet to be released solutions, will provide a real alternative for many businesses."
Gartner's remaining predictions in this year's top 10 are:
-- By 2012, 30 percent of mobile PCs sold in the worldwide consumer market will be priced at less than $300.
-- In 2012, the major PC vendors will recycle only one PC for every five they ship.
-- By 2012, successful enterprises will actively encourage and reward more failures in order to find the optimal approach they want more quickly.
-- By 2012, as many as one in three of the top 20 business process outsourcing providers will no longer exist.
-- By 2011, 30 percent of consulting and systems integration revenue will be delivered via 'cloud computing'.
-- From 2009 to 2013, the server virtualisation software market will grow with a compound annual growth rate of 28 percent, rising from $1.8bn to $6.2bn.
-- By year end 2013, 40 percent of enterprise knowledge workers will have abandoned or removed their desk phone.
-- By the end of next year, wireless operators will cease to offer unlimited (flat-rate) mobile data plans.
-- By year end 2012, physical sensors will create 20 percent of non-video Internet traffic.