In Feb 2009, I wrote a blog about the evolution of Telepresence and how it could easily crossover to the consumer side (Feb 2009 Blog). It makes sense that Cisco would create a consumer-based telepresence capability and boot strap it to an existing flat screen HDTV.
The time has finally come!
Cisco Consumer Telepresence will most likely start at around $500 and be available later this year. "You would just plug it into your television," Robert Lloyd, Cisco's executive vice president overseeing worldwide operations, said of the consumer version.
The timing of Cisco Consumer Telepresence is right in line with Google recently launching GoogleTV which includes a Google search capability that anables viewers to quickly search through programs, DVR recordings and the web. It's clear that technology companies have been trying to turn television sets into more interactive machines, hoping to win over Web surfers who are already migrating from personal computers to mobile devices.
Lloyd said, "It's basically a box that would be in addition to a set-top box, that would leverage high quality broadband," he said, adding that the system would incorporate a high-definition camera and network technology to make video conversations smoother.