Cisco's home telepresence demo
But ūmi's price tag, and the thought of paying for it as an ongoing service, seemed like too much from the outset.
The goal of getting high-end telepresence into consumer hands might not be worthwhile, anyway. At the 2010 ūmi launch, Cisco executive Marthin de Beer likened the experience to chocolate -- something you had to experience in order to get hooked. (See Cisco's TelePresence Enters New Chamber.)
But I have to wonder if expectations for video calling will shrink just as they have for telephone calls.
We put up with bad reception, speakerphones and the use of smartphones in crowds, because it's more convenient to make calls in those situations. Likewise, video doesn't have to be studio-perfect if all you're doing is asking, "What's up?" or trash-talking a friend during the Super Bowl.
For most of us, as Business Insider points out, Skype is good enough.
What's interesting is that Cisco is not done with the consumer segment. The company still plans to appear at CES next week, and I'd have to guess they'll be talking abut Videoscape, which got introduced at the last CES. (See CES: Cisco Unveils Master Plan for Video.)
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading