A telepresence love story

She was there again!
The woman in red; always wearing the same dress, but this time into the jade antique shop in Hong Kong…

Last time she was in Prague, the week before in Paris and a month ago in Rome. She was a vision of beauty in via Dei Coronari, just at the side of st. Peter.

Jack stopped the Avatar with the ‘pause’ icon’, just to look at her. Then he was unable to resist and clicked on her red dress and selected the ‘follow’ icon. The remote Avatar, a young nerdish cinese boy smiled and started walking. He thought that he too would like to follow such a beautiful woman.

Jack was extremely curious: how could it be possible that the same woman was in the same area he was exploring for his clients, not one, but four times?

His job was relatively new; he thought that he just invented it. He was a kind of hunter for antiques on behalf of very rich clients that were interested in specific objects and did not have the time to directly check all the antique shops in the main cities of the world.

When jack first saw the ubiatar technology he immediately knew it was the key for his success. Instead of traveling all the time to beautiful (but very far away) cities to check all the new objects into the best antique shops, he could just hire local people (Avatars) to be his remote body there and explore the main streets.

His job skyrocketed, since he got a percentage of all the money spent by his clients into the best masterpieces he was able to find for them.

Also, to control Avatars into the streets of beautiful cities was fun and saved him from the pain of very hot or very cold environments. He loved to control all these people from the comfort of his air-conditioned office, while sipping a good Cognac.

The woman in red entered into the temple. It was the oldest in Hong Kong and full of people and smoke from the big incense spirals that were burning all the time.

She vanished into the smoke and the Avatar started coughing. After some exploration icons to look around, unable to find her, he clicked directly on the exit so that the Avatar knew he had to go there and go out of that infernal place.

Outside the sun was shining, while in London it was still night. He clicked on the ‘panorama’ icon and the Avatar started slowly rotating on the spot .

When she entered the scene, the Avatar jumped and the video went blurry. Then he stopped by himself and she was there.

She was even more beautiful that he thought, looking at her from a distance.

In her eyes there was some amusement and her face was almost smiling; after a moment that felt like an  eternity, she said “who are you?” and handed her tablet, open on linkedin, to the Avatar.

He was unable to resist, and sent his profile address in a message to the avatar that opened it on her tablet and gave it back to her.

She put her tablet back into her purse and just walked away.

He was puzzled, and his Avatar too. They both watched her red figure walk away and disappear into the crowd of Hong Kong.


A week passed, he bought some stuff for some of his best clients and was just sending the coordinates of the antique shop with the french jewels mr. Tadesh was so interested into, when his secretary came in and said: “there is a person for you, mr. Shoster”.

The person was a young woman.
The person wore a red dress.
The person was also an Avatar.

He immediately knew SHE was the Usar. She got his office address from the linkedin profile and sent him an Avatar too!

He was amused, excited and unable to speak. Such a strange situation!

She was looking around his office because her Avatar was moving her smartphone to cover any corner of the room. At the end the camera stopped on him, and he said: “sit down, please”.

It was weird, but just fair. He telepresenced at her, now she was telepresencing at him.
He talked about his job, about how he was puzzled to see ‘the woman in red’ in so many different locations and how beautiful she was. It was easier to talk to an Avatar, just like she was not in front of him, even if he knew she was hearing everything.

At the end, her Avatar just wrote a small note and leaved. She just walked away and left him with a sense of emptiness…
The note just said: “thursday, San Francisco, Palace of fine arts theatre, 18 PM”. He knew the place; it is one of the most peculiar sights in that city. He had five days before the date.


He was as excited as a high school student at his prom. He had no idea where she would show up and kept walking nervously. The place was right, the time 17:59 PM, no one was around.
Then, suddenly, she was there.


Red-dressed again.

He got her hand and just stood there, looking into her eyes. For the first time, there was no technology between them, but, thanks to all the things they went trough together, they already knew a lot of each other.

Then they talked. About their work, about the many places they saw directly or with their Avatars and about themselves…

Then they had dinner at Salito’s at Sausalito.
The night was bright and the sea was mesmerizing.
It was beautiful and new and different.


You can meet them from time to time… just look for two Avatars in antique shops in Athens, or Rome, or Prague…


James Paciotti, Newark



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