For most of us, our lives are full of momentous occasions shared by family – learning to walk, graduating from high school, starting your first job, getting married and having children. For Boston-based public relations practitioner Yumi Bilic , the next momentous occasion in family life was her sister’s wedding. Unfortunately, due to the aftermath of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Japan native was unable to attend the festivities in Tokyo earlier this month.
After learning about Yumi’s situation, Cisco donated Cisco ūmi telepresence units to her and her family so that they would be able to be together virtually on the special day. With the same name, it was hard for Yumi to pass up the opportunity to see her sister’s ceremony on her HDTV via ūmi.* Not only did Yumi and her husband get to see her family, but she was introduced to her sister’s soon-to-be husband’s family, as well. By attending the wedding virtually with Cisco ūmi from thousands of miles away in Boston, Yumi was able to see, things like her sister’s beautiful bouquet and traditional kimono she changed into for the ceremony as well as finer details like the floral arrangements on all of the tables.
It’s not always easy to see long distance family. My family and I who live in Menlo Park, CA haven’t seen our in-laws who live in Boston, MA in over a year. Fortunately, we use ūmi two times per week for 30 minutes to 1 hour to connect.
Although we won’t see our in-laws in-person for another 5 months, ūmi has definitely proven to be a very interesting way for my 2 ½ year old daughter to play with her eldest nephew, Thomas. They do jumping jacks, play word games, and even practice playing music together.
Check out this video of Thomas showing off his new found trumpet skills over ūmi and teaching Ava how to play.
There have been a lot of fantastic moments shared between family and friends over Cisco ūmi. People have used umi to transform their HDTVs to bring the family together for a reunion, to broadcast first steps for the grandparents, or even to get a violin lesson from a former teacher. We thank the ūmi community for sharing these stories with us and we look forward to hearing many more.
But even better is when you share how you’re using ūmi, through ūmi! We were so thrilled when a user shared a ūmi video with us that we decided to open up our own ūmi account and welcome videos from all users. Whether your band wants to perform an impromptu concert, you want to share how you virtually met your new nephew or you want to tell us what you think of HD video chatting, we want to hear from you! And you can also use this number to test out your Cisco ūmi system.
“To see the house that I grew up in, and see the dogs that we used to play with running around behind him just makes the experience that much more personal,” said Los Angeles Lakers Forward Luke Walton on using Cisco ūmi to talk to his father, NBA legend Bill Walton.
As the Official Technology Partner of the NBA, four player/family pairs were captured connecting over Cisco ūmi from their homes.
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The first in the series is a clip of two NBA players, one retired and one in the middle of his career. With the help of Cisco ūmi, Luke and Bill took a few moments away from their busy lives to catch up on their HDTVs. Luke commented on the change in his father’s hair color, “It does look like you’ve lost most of that red hair though, big man. I don’t know if we can call you ‘Big Red’ anymore.” And, like any concerned parent, Bill made sure his son was taking care of himself, “Are you eating enough?”