It’s been a while since I’ve looked at or played with a product that pushed my buttons enough to write a rant.
Cisco umi, is just such a product.
What is umi? umi is John Chamber’s delusional Telepresence vision for the consumer.
High Definition telepresence for the consumer, yep you read that right. Video conference on your HD TV. With tilt/pan/zoom support and it can even record it for you so you can play back those awkward family teleconferencing moments at a later date.
But wait, that’s cool? What’s dumb about it? What’s dumb is that it’s $599 for the unit. While that doesn’t seem all that bad, when you consider I paid less than that for most of my Hi-Def TV’s that’s kind of pricy.
For starters, it’s a consumer product, and Cisco Sucks at anything with a user interface that isn’t command line so expect this to be hard to use.
Second, you will need two of them, so that’s $1200.
For that money, I’d send my parents at the other end a PS3 and a PS3 Eye camera, total cost: $350. Then they’d have a blueray player and decent video game system.
Best of all, NO SUBSCRIPTION fees.
that’s right, Cisco charges you $24.99 a month (1 year contract), or if you’re smart you’d opt for the annual plan for a whopping 9% savings at $274.99 Annually.
I don’t understand what you get for that? A directory service so you can find your parents/grandparents on the other end?
So you’re looking at $599 x2 and $274.99 x2 for this? That’s a lot of jack.
Also listed in the things you ‘Need’ are:
- TV with HDMI, while most people have that, I suspect none of my parents or grandparents do (yet), and I have little desire to telepresence with anyone else at this stage.
- Broadband, and a good one, with at least 1.5mb up. That’s more rare than you might think and that’s just for 720p calls. 1080 requires 3.5mb UP.
Video is what it is, but I know few folks with that kind of reliable up-stream bandwidth.
Given that now FaceTime is free on all apple products and the plethora of other options out there, while they aren’t true HD are far more than adequate.
This is dumb Cisco, very very dumb.