Light Reading
The DX70 and DX80 are designed to do for desktop clutter what smartphones did for proliferating handheld gadgets.

Cisco Wants to Tidy Up Desktop Videoconferencing

Mitch Wagner
5/20/2014
50%
50%

SAN FRANCISCO -- CiscoLive -- Cisco introduced hardware on Monday designed to make personal videoconferencing affordable, attractive, and practical. The DX80 is a 23-inch computer monitor that doubles as a high-performance videoconferencing unit and touchscreen Android tablet. The DX70 has a smaller display with the same videoconferencing technology and Android capabilities, designed for people who aren't looking to use it as a primary display.

Videoconferencing has failed to follow the technology path blazed by smartphones, which combine phone, digital camera, notepad, GPS, music player, and PalmPilot -- previously all separate devices -- into a single compact unit, said Rowan Trollope, senior vice president and GM of the Cisco Collaboration Technology Group. But desktop videoconferencing users still deal with device proliferation. "Today's typical desktop is cluttered with monitors, speakers, cameras, phones, keyboards, and PCs. Rather than creating an experience that enables productivity, technology gets in the way," he said.

Also, bandwidth and processor requirements for video are generally too steep for many users. Put it together and that makes videoconferencing hard to use, complicated to configure, and lousy quality.

The DX units are intended to change that. The big model looks like an iMac, and can serve as an external PC monitor. It's also a standalone Android tablet. The 24-inch DX80 will be priced under $2,000 and the DX70, with smaller screen, will be under $1,000.

The DX80
Source: Cisco
Source: Cisco

The DX70
Source: Cisco
Source: Cisco

Both units can serve as standalone videoconferencing devices, but the bigger DX80 is also designed to replace an external display for a desktop computer.

The devices incorporate hardware, software and connect to a cloud service designed to ensure an easy-to-use, high-quality video experience. Onboard processors handle compression and decompression for good video and audio on low bandwidth connections. The units have four microphones to automatically detect -- -and suppress -- sound coming from sources off-camera, to minimize distractions from loud-talking co-workers in open offices, and barking dogs and crying babies in home offices.

The touchscreens allow the devices to be used as shared sketchboards, and tilt easily to a 45-degree angle so people sharing a videoconference can start sketching out ideas onscreen as easily as they might do with paper and pen in a face-to-face meeting, Trollope said.

Android support allows the devices to run applications, including purpose-built vertical apps for industries such as healthcare. The units connect to existing address books and calendars, including Active Directory, Google, and Apple iCal. Integration with address books and calendars eliminates another obstacle to videoconferencing and conferencing systems like Cisco's WebEx, where people make clerical errors transcribing and misdialing dial-in numbers and conference codes. With the DX units, uses just click a big JOIN button when it's time to join a conference.

Similarly Cisco launched its Collaborative Meeting Room cloud service, which assigns a virtual meeting room to each individual, where they can meet with other people on a variety of devices and services, including WebEx, Microsoft Lync, Polycom conference phones, web browsers, or any other service supporting the SIP protocol. That service, which extends WebEx incorporating Intercloud, will be available from Cisco partners later this year.

Several customers took the stage with Cisco to describe how they're using the DX units. Paras and Associates provides translation services for healthcare providers. CEO Melinda Paras sees videoconferencing as an intermediate level of service that's better than phone. Though not as good as face-to-face translation, video is less expensive. Every nursing station in the world should have a unit like the DX, she declared.

David Day, global director of WorkPlace Services for Dow Chemical, sees videoconferencing as a way to extend Dow corporate culture to younger employees and the developing world.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to wagner@lightreading.com.

(14)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/21/2014 | 9:43:15 PM
Re: Again
gconnery - "Seriously, we all have desktop computers.  Why would we need another device to do video conferencing on?  In case Cisco hasn't noticed we're all running Skype or Google Hangouts or WebEx or whatever on our PCs already.  Without spending another $2000 on a dedicated device that will only work with Cisco's own conferencing solution?"

Cisco says desktop computers result in substandard videoconferencing that people don't want to use. These devices will be great for videoconferencing and they'll make good desktop displays too. 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/21/2014 | 9:40:39 PM
Re: Again
I'm here at CiscoLive, where coinicidentally I ended up talking with someone about the Flip acquisition. They said it's likely Cisco dumped flip because Cisco realized the B2C business is outside its bailiwick. 

Which leads to the obvious question: Why did Cisco buy it in the first place, then?

At a press Q&A, John Chambers said Cisco isn't getting into the B2C business ever again. Theyr'e done with that. Of course, Chambers is retiring soon and maybe his successor will feel differently.

One interesting element about this announcement is that it's an attempt to create a B2B product that's as enjoyable to use as an Apple product. B2B products usually aren't enjoyable for the end-user at all. 
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/21/2014 | 9:10:51 AM
Re: Again
I've always wondered why the need for a dedicated video system, with the proliferation of existing means for video conferences, most of which are free. And Cisco left a bad taste in my mouth after shutting down the Flip camera which was one of the cooler items and most convenient cameras I've ever had. I used it for years until it broke down recently. But, Cisco is smarter than me, and they must have some pretty good intelligence or guesses as to what they're doing with the new projects. Maybe they just have a lot of existing customers to sell the newest video versions to?
thebulk
50%
50%
thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/21/2014 | 8:12:46 AM
Re: Again
@gconnery, 

Yeah, pretty much I can use facetime or skype or Habgout to talk to anyone fairly easily without having to install a cisco product. 
thebulk
50%
50%
thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/21/2014 | 8:09:50 AM
Re: Again
Given the failure of Umi I hope they are going to change a lot of things about this platform. But it does seem that Cisco loves all things IP video right now and maybe they have something new in store for us. 
thebulk
50%
50%
thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/21/2014 | 8:08:32 AM
Re: Again
I also thought the flip was a cool gadget, but had some shortcomings like its software platform. Also it was really a poorly timed item as the mobile device really became the go to camera and video camera, why would I carry another device when I had one on my mobile phone which I am always carrying anyway. 

 
gconnery
50%
50%
gconnery,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/20/2014 | 6:12:39 PM
Re: Again
Yup.  Not a great idea either time.


Seriously, we all have desktop computers.  Why would we need another device to do video conferencing on?  In case Cisco hasn't noticed we're all running Skype or Google Hangouts or WebEx or whatever on our PCs already.  Without spending another $2000 on a dedicated device that will only work with Cisco's own conferencing solution? 
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/20/2014 | 12:30:24 PM
Re: Again
It was always a bit random for Cisco, I think, but I was a fan. However, I will say I have since discovered my iPhone works just as well. Just had to buy a tripod add-on.
Mitch Wagner
100%
0%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/20/2014 | 12:16:57 PM
Video love
Of course Cisco loves video in all it's forms. Video is very demanding of networks. Similarly, Exxon loves Hummers.
Mitch Wagner
100%
0%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/20/2014 | 12:15:47 PM
Re: Again
I was very surprised by the death of the Flip. It was a great product. I expect Cisco saw it as a market too small to bother with. And perhaps Cisco foresaw that smartphones would eliminate the entire category.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
LRTV Documentaries
Broadband Battles

10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed