Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cisco Umi Puts Telepresence in Living Room -- $599 + $25/Month

Cisco introduced an HD 1080p telepresence system for the home.

Cisco ūmi, which includes an HD camera, a console and a remote, is a premium home telepresence system that aims for pristine video and audio quality over broadband connections. It connects to existing HD sets via HDMI and lets users set-up calls, record calls and send pre-recorded video messages.

The units feature dynamic resolution scaling based on available bandwidth (1080p, 720p, and 480p supported). Minimum upload speeds of 3.5 Mbps are required to maintain a 1080p session while a minimum or 1.5 Mbps uplink is needed for 720p calls. The in-home networking connection is either Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n ) or 10/100 Ethernet (RJ-45).

The Cisco umi carries a suggested retail price of $599 with a monthly fee of $24.99 for unlimited ūmi calls, video messaging and video storage.

Verizon confirmed that it will be among the first service providers to offer it to its FiOS customers starting early next year. Best Buy will sell the Cisco umi.