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Cius: The Inside Story

I have to be honest and tell you that we did not approach this particular show with an attitude of ‘Yeah!  CIsco has a tablet.’  But I am still being honest when I say…that all changed.  This is that story.

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The Power of Touch

We started our technology interface with typing command prompts on a black screen. Then the graphical user interface was born and we were introduced to the mouse which allows us to control a mechanism to point and click. Then the iPhone and iPad were born and the power of touch became very obvious because they basically enabled everyone including small children to easily interact with the product and engage with content. This revolutionary concept of touch to experience begs the questions, what would our world be like if everything we interacted with was a touch enabled device?

Researchers at the University of Munich and the Hasso Plattner Institute think they have a solution that enables anything to be touch driven, while not quite ready for prime time they predict it will be possible in the very near future. Using time domain reflectometry (TDR) they have been able to tell when and where your fingertip touches (or gets close to) a wire. TDR has been used to find faults in underwater cabling for years. The way it works is by sending electrical pulses through a wire and measuring the time it takes for the pulses to return. So your finger reflects the pulse, and by using an oscilloscope and a computer to view and analyze the resulting waveform, researchers can pinpoint where the touch occurs. The below video shows some examples of how this technology could change the way music is recorded, how controlling a device could be improved, and more. Better still it demonstrated the power to make anything a touch device by simply baking the wires need to detect touch into masking tape 

Microsoft is also keenly focused on making touch the way we interact every day and Windows 8 has been built from the ground up as a touch first operating system. The Microsoft development team identified the following parameters for a good touch experience: Read More »

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Cisco WebEx Brings Mobile Video Conferencing to the Apple iPad

Way Cool.  There is no other way I can describe our new WebEx for the iPad app version 2.0 that is available as of today from the Apple App Store.  It brings the compelling high-quality, multi-stream  video conferencing features to the iPad app we announced last month– and the experience rocks.  With a swipe of a finger or a quick tap you can instantly see the video of all meeting participants, zoom into full screen video of just the active speaker and toggle seamlessly between video and the content being shared.  We’ve also added highly requested host capabilities in this release.   It is quite simply the best experience we have delivered in my eight years here at Cisco WebEx.

When we first ventured into the world of mobile apps almost two years ago with the Cisco WebEx app for the iPhone in January of 2009, I knew it would be “Cool”, but what I didn’t realize at the time was just how truly valuable  these new mobile apps were going to be.  Based on our usage data, regular conversations with customers and my own personal experience I can now confidently say that WebEx mobile really does improve business productivity by enabling all participants, wherever they are, to easily join a WebEx meeting and collaborate fully.  This trend is only accelerating thanks to mobile tablets which are ideal form factors for consuming rich media such as meetings.  Our usage of the WebEx app on the iPad is much higher and growing faster than usage on smartphones.  Others are seeing this too; just this month, Cisco WebEx was named one of the Top 15 Essential iPad Apps for Work by PC World.

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