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Connecting parents and children with the Internet of Everything

Overnight trips when both of my kids were younger were hard. Wishing them goodnight over the phone. Sending postcards. But I always wished there was a way to stay connected with them while I was away.

I read an interesting article on GigaOM by Stacey Higginbotham entitled, Hey parents! The internet of things might just be your new best friend, which highlights how the Internet of Everything (IoE) is beginning to impact parent-children relationships. More specifically, the article showcases a Wi-Fi enabled teddy bear that lets parents’ text or send hugs to their children. This message-receiving bear can provide younger children with comfort and reassurance in knowing that their parents are thinking of them when they are away.

As the Internet of Everything evolves and grows, we see more and more innovations focused on convenience, safety and security, thereby impacting parenting. Today, video-enabled baby monitors connect to the Internet and allow parents to watch and talk or sing to their baby from miles away. These types of technologies are just the beginning. The Internet of Everything will enable cribs to monitor vital signs – capturing each time a baby takes a breath -- and collecting sleeping and feeding pattern data.

While much of this technology wasn’t available when my children were small, it is exciting think of the possibilities for the future of parenting.

As my daughter is preparing to go away to college, I often wonder the best way for us to stay connected. For now, I’m going to rely on video chatting. She said the bear didn’t go with her dorm décor.

How would you like to see the IoE impact how you connect with your children? Please join the discussion at: #IoE and #InternetofEverything.

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Black Friday is Really My Cyber Monday When I Shop Online with WebEx

Oh my, I hate crowds.

My daughter is 12 and thinks Black Friday is actually a holiday that follows Thanksgiving. The media has effectively gotten into her brain and she doesn’t even know why she wants to go shopping, but she knows she must. I keep telling her she doesn’t need a $50 VCR but she just doesn’t get it. I suppose I will take her and a friend to the mall and leave them there. There’s no way I am entering the abyss.

Then I will go home and do some real shopping.

My sister-in-law and I team up every year to work out who’s getting what for whom to make sure we get things people will like and to eliminate redundancies. Since I happen to be a big WebEx champion, we do it online.

We shop together using WebEx.

I know that makes me sound a little geeky, and maybe I am, but it’s so fun to surf the internet together and look at the same things at the same time. She had ideas, I have ideas. Sometimes we are sharing and often we are both finding things and then passing the ball back and forth to see each other’s discoveries.

While we shop, she can stop and talk to her toddler, we can both grab snacks and, maybe most importantly, we aren’t losing our minds in the crush of the crowd. It works well for us and I can imagine Read More »

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How to Share a Video via WebEx

We get many requests for help when sharing a video via WebEx during a meeting. We have made some improvements that make sharing quite easy. To help you do it, we’ve recorded a quick WebEx with the how-to!

Watch the recording now.

You don’t need anything special to watch the recording. Just Read More »

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WebEx Channels: We Bring the Experts to You – Register Today!

WebEx offers a number of live events bringing experts to you in a setting designed for sharing information and discussion. You can see all the events, including those coming up and recorded sessions of past events, on our website.

We call it WebEx Channels.

Together@WebEx offers diverse presentations you can listen to right from your computer (these recordings aren’t yet accessible via WebEx Mobile).

From Guy Kawasaki  to Alice Waters to Bear Grylls, we have hosted them all in intimate settings -- usually their homes -- Read More »

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Cisco ūmi: Staying in Touch with Loved Ones

This article was written by Jeffrey, one of our Cisco ūmi users.

These days, it seems as if staying in touch means putting families further out of touch. With email, cell phones, texting, etc, we have begun to lose the real value of a meaningful face to face conversation.  Over the course of my testing with Cisco, it has been made very apparent to me, that they aim to change that in a radical way.

My wife and I have always been close to our families. However, most of our family is scattered across the country. With our closest family being over 1,000 miles away, it has made it extremely difficult to keep in touch the way we would like to. The ūmi system has brought the much needed face to face time that our families have wanted for a very long time.

With ūmi, our parents can now see their grandchildren grow literally right before their eyes. The periods of time between actual visits seem much shorter now because every day, we can talk with our family as if they were sitting right in our living room. The full 1080p resolution makes it actually feel like they are sitting in our living room.

For my family, a majority of our use will come from talking with family that we wouldn’t be able to see otherwise. Keeping that connection is extremely important to us, especially when it comes to our children. Now our children have the chance to see every single one of their relatives, not just from a picture. Establishing and maintaining that bond is something that ūmi will help us do.

Overall, ūmi has brought an immense amount of joy to our family. With communication being a key factor in our lives, Cisco has stepped up to the plate and far exceeded our expectations on what it means to stay in touch over long distances. It has brought many smiles to not only my face, but the faces of my children as well. It is those smiles that will remain in the memories of everyone we talk to using ūmi, and Cisco made it happen.

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