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Cisco ūmi™ telepresence
Imagine using your brand new
high-definition TV to connect with family and friends from all over the
world? Imagine seeing and hearing them so clearly that it’s almost as if
they were right there in the living room?
That’s the reality of ūmi telepresence, a brand new technology from Cisco that makes it all happen at the touch of a button.
Video calling for the home
conferencing technology has been around for years but it has struggled
to make it out of the corporate boardroom. Too often, consumers have
been confronted with poor quality images, mismatched audio, scheduling
problems, or just the sheer complexity of setting everything up.
result? Millions of idle web cams, unused Skype accounts, and a lot of
disillusioned family members feeling further apart than ever.
ūmi telepresence takes all the hard work and uncertainty out of video
calling. By hooking up to your exiting HD TV and broadband connection,
ūmi (pronounced “you-me”) requires nothing more complicated than being
able to operate a remote.
If you’re watching TV and a call comes
in, all you have to do is touch a button on the remote to start talking.
If your TV is turned off, ūmi lets you know a friend is trying to reach
you, so you can answer the call while the TV turns on. The on-screen
ūmi interface makes it easy to look through your contacts and view video
messages, and you can even get notifications on your laptop or your
With the camera mounted
on top of the TV, you can become the director of your own video call.
You can pan the room to follow the action or zoom in to get up close and
personal, all from the comfort of the couch. You can even produce
separate ūmi videos, which you can upload to Facebook and YouTube, or
e-mail to friends.
With ūmi, you are not just restricted to the
living room. It can place and receive video calls from any computer
with a webcam and Google video chat.
You can also personalize
ūmi, recording a “sorry we’re not here” message, assigning unique
ringtones for regular callers, and adding new profile pictures. Video
calls can be screened or blocked, and the camera can be shuttered for
What you need
You need three things to get started with ūmi: an HDTV with an HDMI input port; a broadband connection; and a ūmi Service Plan.
The picture and audio quality you get with ūmi will depend on your broadband connection speed. The Cisco web site allows you to test your connection speed to see how well ūmi will run.
ūmi Service Plan requires a one-year commitment. You can pay $24.99 a
month or you can pay the full year upfront and save the equivalent of
one month’s fee. The ūmi telepresence equipment, which consists of a
camera, a console and a ūmi remote, costs $599 and can be pre-ordered
from the Cisco online store. Pre-orders will start to ship on November 15.
you have friends and family that you are longing to see and hear in a
relaxed family setting, then Cisco ūmi telepresence is the perfect
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