The 2010 holiday season is shaping up to be a big season for Internet TV and video calling enabled consumer products. The new Logitech Revue and Microsoft Kinetc both support video chat and are a mere weeks away. But today, it was Cisco’s turn. Cisco is taking the high definition video conferencing technology from being solely a business tool to into a person home environment via their new Umi product. Umi combines a high definition camera, set-top box and remote, and allows the user to set up video calls with family and friends over a broadband connection.
The joy of seeing your family and friends is $599 for the initial hardware set up with $24.99 a month service fee. No doubt, Cisco Umi will face stiff competition from Microsoft’s Kinect controller which is said to provide low cost Windows Live Messenger video chat and Logitech’s Revue video chat accessory.
Take a look at the specifications below for a clearer idea of this product.
- Full HD 1080p video calling (1920×1080 pixels) and 720p recording at 30 frames per second.
- Dynamic resolution scaling based on available bandwidth (1080p, 720p, and 480p supported)
Camera Optics and Mechanics
- Optical zoom
- Multi glass lens
- Auto focus, auto exposure and auto white balance
- Motorized aim –pan, tilt, and zoom
- Motorized shutter for privacy control
Microphone and Speaker
- Built-in microphone array with software beamforming
- Embedded speaker for incoming call ringing
- Compatible with high-definition widescreen TVs capable of 1080p or 720p with available HDMI port.
- Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n )
- 10/100 Ethernet (RJ-45)
- HDMI Out: ūmi console to TV, HDMI In: media passthrough supported with select set top boxes and BluRay equipment.
- Digital audio over HDMI or optical audio
- Built-in IR receiver for ūmi remote
Cisco puts is best with their description of the Umi experience: “an immersive video experience that fits into every home, automatically adjusting to lighting conditions and various room sizes to provide superior video and audio performance… a video communications experience that is so clear, natural and lifelike, that users will see and hear their loved ones, right down to the twinkle in their eyes and the tone of their voices, as if they were in the same room.”
Chairman and CEO, John Chambers had the following to say: “Cisco is bringing people together, driving new video experiences that change the way we communicate, connect, and enjoy entertainment – in the home, at work, and on the go.”
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