Cisco's Telepresence Video Chat is Expected for Homes Next Week

Illustration for article titled Ciscos Telepresence Video Chat is Expected for Homes Next Week

We've been hearing for a while that Cisco was wanting to get down with Joe Blow on the street, so it's not at all surprising to hear that next week they're rumored to unveil a "cheap" home-telepresence product.

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When we say cheap, we mean it won't cost much more than one of their Flip camcorders, at around $200 subsidized. AllThingsD is hearing that at a press event next Wednesday Cisco will launch the service with either Comcast or Verizon, and that the unsubsidized price might be around the $500 mark.

For years now Cisco has been demo-ing its telepresence technology, which has been available to businesses keen to video conference around the world.

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There's an obvious desire for Cisco to get this technology into homes, but when Skype is already on many computers and TVs—for free—it will be a struggle to convince Mums and Dads they need to shell out a couple hundred notes for something that only really offers greater HD resolution.

Sitting in front of a TV and video-chatting sadly isn't that much of a unique angle for Cisco. [AllThingsD]

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DISCUSSION

AmphetamineCrown
AcetyleneCrown

I thought the notion of "telepresence"—as distinguished from video chat—is the idea of using sufficiently high resolution video (at 1:1 proportions) and directional audio to attempt to erase the illusion of electronic communication. The set I up saw—much like the picture—involved a three very large plasma monitors, a dedicated room, and a very high bandwidth connection. If Cisco can stuff all that in a $500 box, that would be truly "magical and revolutionary."

I suspect, instead, we'll just get video chat.