2010 has been a big year for Cisco
, a major supplier of voice and unified communications systems for business, Cisco recently introduced Cisco ūmi ( pronouced you-me) Telepresence,
a consumer product now available to demo and purchase in all BestBuy/ Magnolia Home Theater
stores across the country.
For those of us who have used various other video chat formats to keep in contact with our families, we know the problems involved. Sometimes the connection is lost, or family members have odd coloration, or sometimes they are deeply blurred. These things cause enormous frustration, instead of happiness at seeing and communicating with children and grandchildren who live far away.
But Cisco ūmi Telepresence is the first product of its kind that helps with these problems, as it connects to an existing HD television and a broadband internet connection, to create a virtual, high touch-immersive video experience. Telepresence umi is the consumer component of a network of business collaboration techonolgies Cisco has introduced throughout 2009-2010. Their Telepresence for business has been enormously successful, as it enhances all aspects of high definition business video conferencing. It was an understandable next step, then, for Cisco to create a more intimate
kind of video conferencing and human interaction: no CEOs or CFOs, but rather with families, children, and grandchildren. A similar technology, a different demographic.
The Cisco ūmi Telepresence system includes an HD camera, a console and a remote, and can automatically adjust to lighting conditions and room sizes. Once Cisco ūmi is connected to an HD television and a wired or wireless broadband connection, a remote control provides access to an on-screen user interface, through which users can make ūmi calls, access video messages, manage contacts, and customize their profile and settings. Users can also record their own ūmi videos, which they can share on Facebook
™, on YouTube
™, or via email. Users can even keep in touch with people who don't have ūmi by placing and receiving video calls from any computer with a webcam and Google video chat.
"Cisco is bringing people together, driving new video experiences that change the way we communicate, connect, and enjoy entertainment – in the home, at work, and on the go," said John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco. "Cisco ūmi will bring the unique Telepresence experience into living rooms and change the way we are able to be together with family and friends. We envision a future where technologies like this will play a role in connecting consumers with businesses to enable the delivery of new services, ranging from education, to health care, to financial services – to the home."