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Cisco to announce high-def consumer telepresence device next week?

Tim Stevens
09.29.10
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Cisco is certainly no stranger to the telepresence world, offering a high-end system catering to your high-paid CEO and his high-def boardroom. However, that doesn't do Ma and Pa Internet User much good when they want to dial up their offspring and see how the grandkids are faring. This, it seems, is Cisco's next step, with the company launching an "inexpensive home telepresence product for personal use" according to All Things Digital. At a press conference scheduled one week from today, a device and service are expected to be unveiled with a cost between $200 and $500 (depending on carrier subsidies) that will enable easy high-def video calling -- something SkypeHD and others do today, but supporting devices have been slow to find success. What will this device look like? Well, Cisco Senior VP Marthin De Beer said earlier this year: "We didn't buy Flip to have it be only a video recorder." He also said: "We would absolutely love to integrate with FaceTime." That latter bit sounds a little optimistic, but high-def telepresence that's as simple to use as a Flip HD? It could be good -- or it could be another FlipShare TV.

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