Cisco Umi Brings Videoconferencing to the Living Room

October 24, 2010 at 11:44 pm 3 comments

As technology advances we get to bear witness to new technologies that build off of the combinations of multiple new technologies.  HDTVs can be compared to when color TVs; they were expensive at first, but as time went on they became more affordable and appeared in numerous homes around the world.  Combining the abundance of HDTVs in homes as well as a broadband connection, Cisco has recently revealed its newest gadget, Cisco Umi.

Pronounced “YOU-me”, this new telecommunications system provides the sophistication of high definition videoconferencing pairing it with features similar to that of a telephone.  The cool thing about this?  It’s a consumer product.  When you buy Umi, you get a Cisco HD camera which has an embedded microphone and a remote to control its functionality.  Now, consumers will need their own HDTV and broadband internet connection, as well as a disappointing $24.99 monthly service fee, but it this product shows to be a must have for those who love to video chat with friends around the world.

Umi puts good use to Voice over Internet Protocol providing clear call and video quality and has the ability to receive calls from friends and family using other VoIP video calling applications, such as Google Video Chat.  Some other interesting features include the ability to block callers and also lock the Umi system so that others may not use it when you are gone.

I think that Cisco is on the right track for finding a popular new way to communicate, but unfortunately might be a little out of luck with this technology.  Cisco announced starting November 14th of this year, you will see Umi hit the shelves at Best Buys around the country.  The hardware alone will cost $599, and then tack on the monthly service fee.  The final blow was said by Skype’s Jonathan Christensen who stated at the end of the article, “…spending at the top-end can be like throwing money away, especially if you are buying a video calling system and there is no one else to call.

I would love to be able to try Umi out sometime just to see the quality.  And it would be pretty awesome if I could video chat in HD with my friends & family around the country/world, but at 600 bucks and a full semester, I can see how this would be quite a fee for some of us.  What do you all think?  Do you like this idea and feel it might take off?

Thanks for reading, here’s the link to the original article, as well as a pretty cool promo for Umi.  Don’t forget the quiz!!

Mike

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mgtetzl  |  October 25, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    cool

    Reply
  • 2. Anna  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    the quiz for this blog is not showing up, and i dont know why

    Reply
    • 3. mnrotha  |  October 26, 2010 at 6:27 pm

      Thanks, I just went on blackboard to make sure they were all set up. It’s a bit annoying but blackboard only shows 10 quizzes on per page so if you go to the bottom right of the quiz page you’ll see a drop down box to go to the next page and it should be there.

      Mike

      Reply

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