Cisco unveils $599 home video conferencing system


Cisco Systems Inc. has launched a $599 home video conferencing system, a high-quality rival to Skype and other low-cost providers, as the network equipment maker seeks to expand in the consumer market, Reuters reports. The high price, and a $24.99 monthly fee, might make it tough for Cisco to win much of a following among consumers, many of whom are using free online video chat services, analysts said. But they also said the move shows the company is set on keeping up double-digit revenue growth even as its traditional routing equipment business matures, by expanding its target from business clients to consumers. “I think the difficulty is probably the monthly price. $300 a year forever, that’s a lot of money,” said Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney. “But this is a premium product. And I think it will set the imagination off with a lot of people.” The home TelePresence system, called “umi,” features a camera and console that connects to a standard high-definition TV and works over a high-speed internet connection. Its biggest selling point is high-quality, real-time video without the pixelations and interruptions of low- or no-cost online services. It also allows unlimited calls, video messaging, and video storage…

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