Cisco Umi Videoconferencing

I was breezing the Internet today and found this article from Engadget announcing the arrival of a new consumer based videoconferencing system from Cisco.  Umi is pronounced with the the U long…you me.

Interesting. I’ve been saying for years the marriage of HDTV and videoconferencing was inevitable, and now, here it is.

I will look closer at the specs, but, it does not look to be H.323 compatible, and the press release says nothing about SIP…so it may be proprietary?

It is a service, rather than stand-alone, and according to Engadget costs  $599 to buy, then $24.99 per month for usage.  Pretty steep if you ask me when you can get Skype (and multipoint) for free (I don’t need HD videoconferencing THAT bad).

Anyway…..this is a step in the right direction (making videoconferencing available to anyone, anytime, anywhere  or at least taking the first step).  So I have to hand it to Cisco for moving in this direction.

It will be available Nov 14 at Best Buy.

Blast From the Past

See my article from too many years ago (1995) where Kristen (who is NOW in college, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA) calls me from college on my TV while I am watching the 49ers lose yet another game.  Scroll down to 6:30 PM if you don’t care about the rest of the vision (which is still a dream):

“Virtual Work in the Year 2004″ (written in 1995)

UPDATE:  I checked the Cisco website for specs.   As far as I can tell:

+ No multipoint,

+ No SIP,

+ No H.323,

+ And you have to buy TWO to connect.

Hmmmm, have we not been down this road before?  And all those who have done it (made totally proprietary systems at a steep price) in the past are gone…

Give me Skype or ooVoo…HD is simply not that important to me.


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