Light Reading
3:30 PM If the beloved Flip had to go, then the less-beloved ūmi wasn't going to be long for this world

Cisco Finally Drops ūmi

Craig Matsumoto
Valley Wonk
Craig Matsumoto
1/4/2012
50%
50%

3:30 PM -- When Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) started its restructuring last year, it wasn't hard to pick ūmi as likely cut. (See Cisco Starts Spring Cleaning.)

Like the Flip camera, ūmi was part of Cisco's push to put video networking in consumers' hands. But some of us contended from the start that this didn't have to be Cisco's job. It's not as if video's success was a question, especially with the iPhone having already become a big deal.

So, it's not surprising to hear the ūmi product is discontinued, as Cisco confirmed to Business Insider on Tuesday. The service will live on, so those who did spend $600 on a unit (or a drastically lower price, if they bought later) will still be able to pay $25 per month to keep the units alive.

Cisco did make the ūmi look nice. Here's part of a demo they did at the 2010 launch -- filmed on a Flip camera, by the way:



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

(8)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DCITDave
50%
50%
DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:46:40 PM
re: Cisco Finally Drops ūmi


It is interesting that a lot of the wow factor of Videoscape last year was the fact that Cisco had found a way to tie in telepresence, consumer video cameras and service provider pay TV in a way that made sense (at the time). Now? I'm sure the story will change somewhat but I don't think it will ultimately matter. Cisco's still a hardware company and its strategy won't veer too far from blinking boxes. (Has it ever?)

WilliamofOccam
50%
50%
WilliamofOccam,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:46:40 PM
re: Cisco Finally Drops ūmi


"For most of us, as Business Insider points out, Skype is good enough"


 


I wonder if the 4G cellular companies pushing for IMS have figured this one out yet.

paolo.franzoi
50%
50%
paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:46:39 PM
re: Cisco Finally Drops ūmi


WillofO,


Nice Razor btw.


I have been saying the web has made IMS obsolete anyway.  By the time a service is offered through IMS it is completely commoditized via its web version.


 


seven

paolo.franzoi
50%
50%
paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:46:33 PM
re: Cisco Finally Drops ūmi


 


So, if the branded solution is free then I think its fine...Skype is Free...Facetime is Free.  That is what I mean about IMS being too slow.  If mobile/static video were not available for free their might be a market.  But there is not now....


 


seven


 

DCITDave
50%
50%
DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:46:33 PM
re: Cisco Finally Drops ūmi


Funny enough, a few of the demos I've seen recently from various equipment vendors all have this ideal world where a service provider offers a branded version of some communications suite, with a Skype like video chat, text and so on available to all devices on all OSes in that SP's network.


Is that too limited an idea these days? It seems like it should be, but then I'm the guy who lobbies for everyone in my family to buy an Apple gadget so we can use FaceTime.


ph

DCITDave
50%
50%
DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:46:32 PM
re: Cisco Finally Drops ūmi


Yeah, that's the tragedy of it all -- IMS players could have developed this stuff years earlier and charged for it. Now it MIGHT be a customer retention tool but I don't think most carriers care that much to go through the pain of it all (and why should they? they reall should be more worried about connectivity than apps anyway.)

DCITDave
50%
50%
DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:46:31 PM
re: Cisco Finally Drops ūmi


It's a marketing construct used to describe anything video that Cisco produces. As we're seeing, products will come and go from Videoscape, but the general idea behind it all -- help service providers monetize video (sell more hardware) -- is a constant.


 

btierney
50%
50%
btierney,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:46:31 PM
re: Cisco Finally Drops ūmi


Was Videoscape about products or about a long term vision to over hang the market due to lack of real product?

More Blogs from Valley Wonk
Comcast joins Google in asking for a flexible-rate optical standard, rather than 400G or terabit, but that's easier said than done
Cisco, Juniper and other more traditional Interop speakers might get overshadowed by the forces of virtualization
The Open Networking Summit has climbed the hype curve, but the conference should cling to its roots as a techie discussion forum for software-defined networking
The coalition's chairman says all these companies plan to further the SDN cause and don't have a 'nefarious' angle
Big vendors are reportedly banding together to unify SDN's approach but is it more about steering the conversation?
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
Level 3 Does Big Data Differently
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/21/2014
Comcast Streams Back to School
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/21/2014
T-Mobile: Small Cells? We're Dense Already
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/22/2014
Sprint Drops Prices, But Also Speeds?
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/21/2014
Line-Powered Phone Lines: A Hot Topic Again
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/20/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed