Equipped with a 5-megapixel rear facing camera and a 720p HD camera on the front, the 7-inch tablet is being touted as potent collaboration and communications platform by the company: “Cisco Cius offers HD video streaming and real-time video, multi-party conferencing, email, messaging, browsing, and the ability to produce, edit and share content stored locally or centrally in the cloud.”
As for connectivity, only 802.11 a/b/g/n and 3G will be supported at launch (first quarter of 2011), with a 4G variant set to follow later. Cisco has promised that the Cius would be priced below $1000.
If you dropped Facebook out of protest last month (which you probably didn't), and find yourself on the market for another social networking site (which you probably aren't), than you might be excited to hear Cisco is preparing to launch a new professional social networking site later in the year.
Cisco's General Manager of enterprise collaboration Murali Sitaram describes the service currently dubbed "Quad" as a place where professionals can take advantage of existing voice and video conferencing technologies offered by the company. He claims it is a "natural transition" to help fuel future technologies that will revolve around collaboration and communication.
It looks like the overall goal of the service is to marry together popular concepts like micro blogging with more immediate communication tools like live video for professional environments. For example, "if you find someone available in the network with knowledge that's useful for your project, you can start a video chat or web conference with them right away, rather than sending a message and waiting for a response".
Quad also hopes to include the ability to create personalized home pages, and host company specific content with ties into SharePoint and Documentern. Clearly Cisco is hoping this service will be adopted by firms to help replace aging intranet's that host mostly static, and outdated information.
Quad appears to be taking a unique approach, but does anyone out there think it will actually catch on?
In an official blog post on Thursday, Skype announced it is previewing a brand new version of its VoIP software which, among other things, supports group video calling for up to 5 people.
"With the latest version, you'll be able to bring the whole family together for a chat, for lunch, or even a birthday," Skype wrote. "You'll be able to spend quality time with your best friends, planning a trip, or even hosting a book club. And you'll be able to meet with colleagues from across the world without leaving your desk."
Skype made sure to emphasize that its video calling is currently in beta, meaning "there might be a few rough edges, and that it might not work perfectly every time." And to take advantage of group video calls, everyone in your party has to be running the new version.
According to an Associated Press (AP) report, Skype is finally planning a public beta test of a group video chat function in which up to five users will be able to see each other's mugs simultaneously during a call.
When it launches next week, beta users will be able to try it out for free, but eventually Skype will charge for the five-way videoconferencing feature, said Neil Stevens, general manger of Skype's consumer business segment. Other features will also be included, though Stevens didn't elaborate on what those might be.
Stevens said Windows PC users will get first crack at the video group chat feature, while the company expects to release a version for Macs sometime later this year.
In a survey titled "Meetings Dos and Don'ts," PGI, a provider of meeting and collaboration solutions, found that IT professionals and small to medium-size business (SMB) owners have a few gripes with video conferencing, most of which center around etiquette.
What's interesting about this is that both IT and SMB survey respondents admitted to the same behavior that they find annoying in others, like checking email, searching sports scores, or leaving the room altogether. More than half of those that took the survey said they multitask during meetings, while relatively few admitted to getting caught.
"While people want total attention when they are leading a meeting, everyone also demands the freedom to multitask as needed," said Boland Jones, CEO and Chairman of PGI. "No matter where people are in th world, technology makes it possible to replicate a face-to-face meeting over the Web, while liberating attendees from the strict decorum expected when people sit in the same room. As meeting experts, we know firsthand that people thrive when together, virtually or physically."
Ranking as the No. 1 irritant among SMB owners and IT professionals is when others engage in side conversations, followed by checking personal emails.
It’s the Holiday season, and that means a lot of time catching up with relatives on the phone or in person. You can make those long-distance calls a lot more personal though, by setting up your living room TV to act as a video phone.
And really, setting up a video chat session on your living room PC isn’t all that hard. We’ll show you how you can get started video chatting with just three simple steps: Finding the right connector, setting up a webcam, and installing video chat software.
We’ll warn you ahead of time: this guide is written to be a little more newbie-friendly then our usual how-tos here at MaximumPC. Now, we’re not forgetting our power-user fans, but we wanted to make this guide something you can send to your parents and other relatives, so that they can get in touch for the holidays.
Logitech announced it has agreed to acquire LifeSize Communications, a privately held company specializing in high-definition video conferencing equipment, for $405 million in cash. The deal gives Logitech instant access to some 9,000 video conferencing customers across 80 countries in businesses both big and small.
"We expect this acquisition to enable Logitech to extend our leadership in video communication beyond the desktop," said Gerald P. Quindlen, Logitech president and chief executive office. "Together we can make life-like, HD-quality video communication as mainstream and seamless as a telephone, for meeting participants in the boardroom, at their office desk, in a remote-location meeting room, telecommuting from, or on the go with a laptop."
Logitech said it plans for LifeSize to continue to operate as a separate division under the direction of Craig Malloy, the start-up's co-founder and CEO.
The deal also thrusts Logitech into direct competition with market heavyweights such as Cisco, Microsoft, HP, IBM, and others. Cisco especially will be one to look out for, as the company just recently announced it would spend $3 billion acquiring Tandberg, a Norwegian video communications company, following share holder approval.