Originally planned for Tuesday and Wednesday this week, a London show dedicated to telepresence was cancelled with just a few weeks to go.

I found myself wondering whether having a physical exhibition to promote this kind of technology sets the right tone. After all, as we report today, a recent conference on telepresence was quite sensibly held online.

The news about TelePresence World London reminded me of the - perhaps apocryphal - poster advertising a Psychics Fayre, with "Cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances" pasted across it.

Then again, perhaps the need for an exhibition says two things: first, as our other story reports, this technology is still far too proprietary. And secondly, despite all our clever technology, as a species we still need to see stuff in the flesh (or metal), at least for the first time around.