It’s the technology your boss would invent, if he could do that sort of thing. A new technology trend known as “presence,” spawned by the popularity of instant messaging buddy lists, lets people know when you’re at your computer. Featured at the recent DEMO conference, an elite annual showcase of tech innovation, presence is touted as bringing a new level of intelligence to the video- and voice-over-Internet communications revolution that AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger and similar products kicked off. “Every major software company knows they need to integrate presence and IM into their applications,” said Jon Sakoda of IMLogic, a company featured at DEMO. As Soon As Present (ASAP) from Convoq Inc., posits that organizations want their workers to be able to locate a colleague quickly when it’s urgent—but to not interrupt that co-worker when she’s busy with something more pressing. ASAP is meant to replace the flesh-and-blood secretary who screens calls and organizes schedules. It can set up quick, collaborative Web conferences for up to 25 participants that include video, file-sharing and joint real-time work on electronic documents. And it lets you designate a stand-in if someone needs a quick answer and you’re not available.

LA Times 18 Feb 2004