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Going Virtual at CES 2010

If there ever was a geek-utopia, it would no doubt look very similar to CES.   Big booths, big announcements and even bigger TVs.  CES 2010 in Las Vegas is being hailed as one of the better shows in the past few years, with all companies big and small releasing high-tech devices.    Unfortunately I could not physically attend, but thanks to the thousands of bloggers and live video streams, I was able to experience much of it virtually.

If you ask most people what the overall theme was at CES this year, they would most likely say 3D.   While 3D was the most talked about technology at the show, I would disagree that it was the overall theme.  I feel convergence was the real star at CES.    Internet connected TVs, new media center devices, video conference TVs, even Twitter on your TV.  The living room just got more connected. 

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John Chambers and More from the Consumer Electronics Show

The Consumer area of Cisco.com has some videos and more from CES 2010.

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Live Keynote on Augmented Reality from Networkers at Cisco Live Barcelona 2010

Cisco Live and Networkers Virtual will feature a live keynote on 26 Tuesday 2010 at 2:45pm CET featuring Professor Bruce Thomas, Director of the Wearable Computer Laboratory at the University of South Australia. His team of researchers and enthusiastic Phd students push the research and development boundaries of wearable computers, augmented reality and virtual reality.

Bruce joined the Wearable Computer Laboratory in 1998 and during his time there invented the first outdoor augmented reality game AR Quake, and that is just one example of some very cool projects the team at the Wearable Computer Laboratory have or are working on.

Read more to watch a video showing AR Quake in action!

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Giving your time and spirit

Normally on this blog we tak about digital experience and the Cisco.com web site, but I thought I would change the pace a bit and tell you about a great team activity our web teams did recently.  Literally one of the best times I have had at a group event was recently when our Web team spent a few hours helping out at the Second Harvest Food Bank in San Jose, California.

Second Harvest is where local nonprofit agencies turn to get donated, surplus, and purchased food at no cost. Last year they distributed almost 40 million pounds of nutritious food to South Bay families. They’re very organized at Second Harvest and set us up assembly line style to load pasta, cereal, beans, and canned meals, veggies, and fruit into individual boxes which then can be distributed to local nonprofits and on to local families.

As you have probably read elsewhere, Cisco as a company is very supportive of employees giving our time back to the community, and many thousands of Cisco employees are involved in all varieties of volunteer acivities throughout the year. I think group activities like this are particularly rewarding since they get a whole team involved. Several teams from our web and marketing groups got involved at Second Harvest this year, and will continue to do so.

Of course, it feels good to help out an agency that provides the makings for so many nutritious meals. But it was also rewarding for the folks on our team to work together on something other than our day job of producing Web content for Cisco.com. We’re definitely going to sign up for this again, and if your organization is looking for a rewarding “teambuilding” activity that can do some good I heartily recommend a group volunteer activity such as working at your local food bank, planting trees, cleaning up local parks, or myriad other activities.

Here are some photos from our experience. Happy Holidays from the Cisco.com web teams!

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Avatar Pushes Augmented Reality

The new James Cameron movie, Avatar, is a next generation film that truly blurs the line between animation and reality.   Add to that mix the elements of new 3D technology, and you see why Cameron waited for the technology to catch up to his vision of the planet world Pandora.   

The movie is not only pushing the boundaries of progressive movie making, but the marketing effort associated with the movie is tremendous.   The movie has a full array of cross brand promotions with major food outlets, as well as a line of augmented reality action figures.   

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