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

Illustration for article titled Cisco's 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.


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.

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]



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.