This could be an interesting development, because home use of this kind of technology can only help drive corporate adoption.
To use it you need a umi box, camera and remote which will set you back $599.00, as well as a subscription of $24.99 per month which gets you unlimited calls. You’ll also need an HDTV to plug everything into, as well as a broadband connection.
It’s greatest plus point as I see it, is the decision to centre it around the existing TV, rather than creating an entirely separate device. There isn’t a great deal of information on the website, but it certainly looks like it should be fairly simple to operate judging by how few buttons there are on the remote.
Of course the obvious down side is that you can only connect to someone else who has umi, and it may be some time before it gets past the early adopter audience.
Oh, and before anyone in the UK gets too excited, it could be that the broadband requirements would be a stumbling block if Cisco are considering a roll out here. It requires an upload speed of 1.5Mbps for 720p and 3.5Mbps for 1080p. Just in case that wasn’t clear that’s the upload speed. I’m using a 24Mbps service, which gives me an actual 16Mbps download speed but I’m lucky if I can get an upload speed of 1Mpbs (according to Cisco’s test, I managed 0.933Mbps).