Can Cisco management really believe there’s a mainstream market for this? Especially when the market is about to see a bunch of new PC/Internet/TV devices, some of which will probably support low-cost (and no additional service fee) audio/video?
So, there’s kind of clunky but blissfully free PC video chat on Skype and any number of other Web services. And now there’s superhigh-quality chat over your TV from Cisco for $898.88, for a year of service.
On Wednesday, Cisco unveiled its long-awaited Umi (you-me) videoconferencing system aimed at consumers. The Umi rig includes a camera that fits on the top of a high-definition TV and a rectangular appliance that connects to the TV and Internet, while also handling the processing of the video data. The hardware costs $599, while Cisco’s calling service will cost $24.99 a month.