Cisco's ūmi in Action

5:00 PM -- At its ūmi launch last week, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) conducted demos -- in faux living rooms complete with candles, abstract art on the walls, and plug-in air freshener scents -- and I had the camera handy. So here are some poorly filmed examples of how ūmi operates.

First, there's an explanation of the self-view mode, which lets you see what the other person is seeing. It comes in handy if you're trying to zoom in on a photo you're holding, for instance. The woman you'll see on the screen at first is Lillie, who had agreed to use her home for the other side of the demo.

That's John Blackstone of CBS News giving us the "hello" wave, and it's Cisco chief marketing officer Sue Bostrom who's remarking that self-view might be best left turned off.

Video calling opens up the possibility of what might be called "video voice mail," a nicely awkward turn of phrase.

The new-age music was supposed to represent regular television -- i.e., the stuff you're watching when you suddenly receive a telepresence call.

That brings up an interesting point that I'd forgotten: Cisco CEO John Chambers has talked about combining telepresence and picture-in-picture to watch sporting events with friends remotely. As Network World found out, that can't happen yet.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:21:27 PM
re: Cisco's ūmi in Action

I should add that none of what's shown here is all that remarkable.  I would expect most other home-telepresence services to do these same things, in much the same way. But it was novel to see once, and like I said, I had the camera.

Right now, Umi is all about seeing the grandkids (and burning that bothersome discretionary income) but Cisco seems hopeful that services will develop -- consultations with your doctor, or with financial experts, for instance.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:21:27 PM
re: Cisco's ūmi in Action


I have a friend who has done this with a video camera and a Slingbox....

Both of which have other uses....




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