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Zeus Kerravala
Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his...
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Zeus Kerravala | October 06, 2010 |

 
   

Cisco Unveils TelePresence for Consumers

Cisco Unveils TelePresence for Consumers the solution will appeal to that higher end consumer. It's easy to use, the quality has to be seen to be experienced, and it can be deployed fairly quickly.

the solution will appeal to that higher end consumer. It's easy to use, the quality has to be seen to be experienced, and it can be deployed fairly quickly.

At long last, the wait is over. After months of speculation and rumor Cisco finally reveals its consumer oriented TelePresence solution. Before I get into my thoughts on the solution I'll provide a quick overview of what and how much the solution is.

The solution name is Cisco umi telepresence, pronounced (you-me). Catchy as far as Cisco naming goes.

The consumer TelePresence solution includes: * A camera that sits on top of or underneath any flat screen TV. HD is a requirement for the solution

* A second box; the "CPU" sits between the camera and the TV. The TV interface is HDMI

* There is no TV as part of the solution. I know there were rumors that consumers would have to purchase a "Cisco TV," but that is not the case. Camera, base unit and remote control is what you get with the solution

* The solution can be connected to the home network via WiFi or with an Ethernet cable.

* List price is $599 for the purchase of the equipment and then a $24.99 fee paid monthly to Cisco as a subscription cost for the service.

* Product will be available from Best Buy, Verizon or cisco.com.

* Solution is initially focused on North America

* Usage of the solution is based on the "service" that's paid to Cisco, and usage is unlimited. For the $24.99, users can make unlimited video calls, record video messages, record video greetings within the community of people that have been set up. The usage is driven off the remote control and is very simple to use. The user can zoom, tilt and turn the camera on/off from the sofa.

* The solution is designed with security and privacy in mind. There is a physical shutter that goes over the camera when not in use. There's no ability to do a search on names and find people to chat with (like you can with Skype), so consumers do not need to be concerned with random people trying to communicate with them. The solution is meant to be deployed within a group of people that want to TelePresence with one another and not meant to be a tool used to find people to communicate with randomly.

Cisco is planning to blitz the market with consumer TelePresence post the launch. We'll see ads on TV, the solution in malls, concerts and all over the place. Cisco certainly has the resources to make everyone in America aware of this technology and I believe they will spend the money to do so.


The Cisco umi telepresence solution



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