FullSizeRender copyMy grandmother, now eight years passed, used to tell the best stories about Vietnam. I remember one about my grandfather who wooed her with a popsicle on one of his early visits. In the incessant heat of a mid-1940s Hanoi summer, this was a feat of magnificent proportions.

But it would be rude to eat it in front of him, she thought. So she set the popsicle aside on a plate to save until after he leaves. When later she went to retrieve it, she would only find a small puddle and stick where her popsicle once was. Through tears, she chastised her siblings for coveting the gift from her beloved. Then someone explained the power of refrigeration to her, and that sealed the deal. She decided my grandfather was a man of the world and would make a suitable husband.

Ah, in the middle of Silicon Valley, there’s no greater love story than one aided by technology. So, I racked my brain to extract a good one for the amusement of my future grandchildren. Could the power of video collaboration be as heart wrenching as the power of refrigeration?

Alas, I couldn’t come up with a thing as my own love story was borne of pen and paper – a far cry from the tech-driven theme required of a good popsicle story. But I’m not above pilfering someone else’s: My colleague Nathan and his wife, Maiko, who fell in love over 1080p.

It was 2005 and video conferencing was still a pipe dream – shaky and flakey at best.

Not at Cisco.

At Cisco, video conferencing was incomparable: Triple 65-inch screens with spatial audio and brilliant, high-definition, life-sized video. The experience was further perfected with guidance from a renowned Hollywood cinematographer (cue the violins).

Nathan was in San Jose, Maiko in Tokyo. After months of working together in high definition, video overwhelmed their senses and the colleagues found themselves succumbed to love. If the Chinese poet and philosopher, Lao Tzu, is to be believed, “Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses.”

Who really knows, but in my heart of hearts, I’m just sure that high definition video helped Nathan and Maiko’s senses along. Not surprisingly, by the summer of 2006, Nathan was moved to propose. And, naturally, it was over video.

Now, that’s an epic popsicle story! My grandmother would be proud.

Of course, video collaboration doesn’t have to result in love to be effective. Activating the senses through visual communications is also important in business, because you can impart trust and confidence better than you can with any other medium. Which is why, a decade after inventing the world’s best video experience, we are still dogged in our pursuit to make that experience ever more memorable.

… just in case there’s another popsicle story to help along.

Do you have a great tech-inspired love story? I would love to hear it. Extra points if it’s collaboration-related.


Kim Nguyen

Senior Marketing Manager