San Jose - Cisco
introduced an HD video conferencing system for consumers known as Umi Telepresence.
The device, which
operates via an HD television and a broadband Internet connection, comes with
an HD camera, a console and remote. Once the Umi is connected to the TV and
Internet, the remote control provides access to an onscreen user interface that
lets people make Umi calls, access video messages, manage contacts, and
customize profiles and settings.
The hardware has a
$599 suggested retail and tacks on a $24.99 monthly fee for unlimited Umi
calls, video messaging and video storage
Users are able to
record their own Umi videos that can be emailed or shared on Facebook and
YouTube, or they can place and receive video calls from a computer with a
webcam and Google video chat.
Cisco said it is
working with Verizon to bring the Umi to Verizon FiOS customers early next
year, and it is working with Best Buy to bring it to Magnolia Home Theatre
stores this holiday season. Within Magnolia Home Theatre stores, consumers will
be able to experience Cisco Umi, get advice on the product and required
broadband, and purchase the Umi, with installation and support provide by The
Geek Squad, Cisco said.
Features of the
Umi include new-video notices via text message, the ability to pan and zoom the
room, call screening and blocking, and personalized ringtones.
Cisco said it
would use the fall to kick off a major marketing campaign.
The Umi is
scheduled to be available for preorder on Oct. 6 from http://umi.cisco.com and
Oct. 18 from www.bestbuy.com. It is scheduled to be available to consumers on
Nov. 14 in Best Buy/Magnolia Home Theater stores and Cisco's site.