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Today marks a proud and historic day for Cisco.

With the introduction of Cisco ūmi™ telepresence, a unique consumer product that brings family and friends together from great distances at the touch of a button, we are extending the exciting  Cisco TelePresence experience into peoples’ homes –  and with it, usher in an exciting new category of clear, natural and lifelike consumer video experiences.

Bringing telepresence into the home has been a passion of mine for years, and being together with your friends and family is just the beginning.   We see tremendous opportunities in helping businesses and consumers connect in new ways.   Imagine your child receiving world class tutoring from the comfort and safety of your home, or a chronically ill patient receiving the best medical attention without ever having to leave their home.

Cisco ūmi connects to an existing HD television and a broadband internet connection to create a video communications experience that is so 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.

Cisco is working with Verizon to bring the ūmi experience to Verizon FiOS customers early next year.  The two companies have been conducting successful trials of Cisco ūmi over Verizon’s 100 percent fiber-optic network.

Cisco ūmi is scheduled to be available for preorder on Oct. 6 from umi.cisco.com and Oct. 18 from bestbuy.com. It is scheduled to be available to consumers on November 14 in Best Buy/Magnolia Home Theater stores, bestbuy.com and umi.cisco.com for the suggested retail price of $599 with a monthly fee of $24.99 for unlimited ūmi calls, video messaging and video storage.

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8 Comments.


  1. Very cool gadget Marthin. I love that you are teaming up with Verizon on this. I can’t wait for them to start offering FiOS service in Arizona. Is it going to be included in their service, or available as an addon?

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    • Aaron:
      Even if it is an add-on, it is a no brainer for most consumers.

      Just imagine the last time you went on customer support to fix a gadget that was supposed to work out of the box or when you had to drive to take even a cursory look at the gizmo you wanted to buy.

      If they define a tiered service, say $12.99 for 30 video calls a month, then it is even more of a no-brainer.

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  2. Exciting news indeed. Though the cost is not insignificant, the value proposition, if articulated well, should help allay those concerns. Perhaps integrating the technology into the Scientific Atlanta set top boxes would help defray the upfront costs and generate rental fee income indefinitely. Just my 2 cents.

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  3. This is encouraging to know that you can be connected with your loved ones without being in the same room. I only hope that this telepresence technology will be affordable en mass and therefore accessible to all especially to people in remote villages.
    Kudo Cisco for bringing technology to the human network.

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  4. Congratulations Cisco! I’ve been a big fan of your vision for visual communication and collaboration. And as excited as we should be for enterprise applications- there is no better place to connect people than in the home! Thank you for fast tracking consumer grade telepresence!

    I look forward to the evolution of video communication. Skype (video) has transformed the relationship with my parents (and niece/nephew!) with whom I only saw twice a year. Now we see each other several times a week. They were very late in the game to buy a computer in the home- but have since become evangelists for video communication.

    Happy to see the TV leveraged, but my request would be to connect friends-families in the kitchens. Could we see your coming tablet connect wireless with a lower grade TP?

    And – can we get a sneak peak at Cisco’s vision for ‘around and beyond the screen’? One of my big complaints with the visual futuristic stuff is that it keeps the screen as a boring rectangle… surely we can envision new form factors? ;-)

    What about the walls around the screen? The objects that could build build around these systems (physical/digital) that might soften the ‘screen’ and make the experience more intimate!

    I’d love to hear more about your vision for the future user experience beyond just looking at a 20th century TV screen!

    Congratulations on this roll out! Well done!

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  5. The Society Of Santa (SOS) plans to use UMI to keep in touch with our young friends all during the year. (Except December, of course, when we will be visiting in person those children of all ages who truly believe in Santa Claus.)

    Santa Steve Patterson
    Society Of Santa

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  6. I believe if this were integrated with Webex then it could be utilized as a business tool and open up an additional revenue stream.

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