October 6, 2010

Cisco Umi, only Cisco could turn a Home into an Office

Only Cisco could turn a Home into an Office … an enterprise-class Home.

With Cisco Umi, the whole family gets in a virtual conference room (the living room) for a Telepresence session with family & friend teams in remote locations. And, the family learns to stay in the living room all the time, since you never know when someone may call. And learns to be spontaneous. An example is shown below.

Check more examples at Cisco's Umi website.

Alternately, you can setup a meeting with your remote team using Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar and then participate in the Telepresence session at the scheduled time, spontaneously.

Kidding aside, Cisco Umi has a solid but bland set of features
* 720p video calls on a 1.5 Mbps upload Internet
* 1080p video calls on a 3.5 Mbps upload Internet

what happens to the video quality when the Internet connection drops momentarily as is common with Home Internet..

The solution is also expensive, $599 for the box + $24.99/mo monthly fee.

With the high price, restricted use (in the living room), limited to 1-on-1 calls, requirement for high bandwidth Internet and for both parties to have the same equipment for best experience, the product will find limited use in the consumer market. Someone is watching too many Enterprise movies at Cisco.