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Cisco hangs up on Umi 'Personal Telepresence' flop

Sharif Sakr
January 4, 2012
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A whole separate box and remote just for video chat? For as much as $600, plus a $10 per month subscription (HDTV and broadband not included)? It was always doubtful whether the Umi telepresence kit would catch on, but now Cisco has crushed those doubts by quietly crushing both the 1080p and cheaper 720p versions of the product. No press release or announcement; just a disembodied voice at the end of a technical support line advising callers that the product is "under evaluation," and a behind-the-scenes nudge to Business Insider that it really has been discontinued. It's not yet clear what will happen to the monthly service for existing customers, but if it gets disrupted then Cisco will surely have to come clean. Heck, for $600 we'd expect a personalized hi-def video apology.

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