CES 201: Cisco Unveils Videoscape Software


LAS VEGAS - If you were expecting any earth-shattering hardware to be unveiled at the Cisco press conference here, you'd be sadly mistaken - no new Scientific Atlanta set-tops, Flip cameras, Linksys routers or UMI telepresence systems, all divisions of the networking giant.

Instead CEO John Chambers introduced Videoscape, "a software architectural play across the Internet" that he hoped would reinvent the TV experience.

 His vision - which he detailed over the course of the press conference including the requisite demo - had consumers accessing infinite sources of video over a cloud-based network so they could watch anything they'd like on any authorized device. 

According to Cisco, Videoscape is a comprehensive TV platform for service providers that brings together digital TV and online content with social media and communications applications to create a new, truly immersive home and mobile video entertainment experience.

 It's a breathtaking vision - articulated by many companies over recent years, including a similar vision announced by Sony later in the day. Chambers likened his announcement to one he made a decade earlier when he stated the Internet would be driven by data and he was proven right; now he was saying the next generation would be driven by video in all its forms - from cable TV shows to homemade YouTube videos and everything in between. He admitted Videoscape was in its early stages and more announcements would be made during the year. As if to show just how difficult the journey would be, he showed an animated chart detailing all of the steps required to make this happen "so it would be simple for the 2-year-old as well as the 87-year-old."


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