For years, conferencing technology has been out of step with its time. Visual conferencing in particular - both interactive video and data sharing - illustrates this sense of anachronism. On one hand, the promise of an application like videoconferencing could hardly be in greater demand. What business, for instance, that is to any degree a distributed organization would not benefit from some form of remote visual communication among its own members and with its cus tomers? And yet, for all that potential efficiency and (let’s be honest) just plain sexiness, the technology has decidedly failed to make it big.