Cisco Unveils Umi Video Calling Service

Published by: Kelly Curtis on 7th Oct 2010 | View all blogs by Kelly Curtis

Cisco Unveils Umi Video Calling Service

In an announcement made on Wednesday, Cisco systems unveiled their new Umi (pronounced you-me), a consumer directed service that allows people to conduct video-chat on their HD televisions in their homes.

The system will consist of a high-definition camera with a microphone embedded, a set-top box, and a remote; users will need to have an HD 1080p television and an existing internet connection to plug into the service. There is no external mic, but users will be able to recalibrate the sound quality. The company has designed algorithms in the system's software that will help bring voives to the foreground and reduce external noise.

In addition to the Umi system's video chat capabilities, the system will allow users to manage contact lists, settings, and profiles using the provided remote. The system will also allow users to record video and upload it to sites like YouTube or Facebook, or attach a clip to an email. The system's VoIP element will also allow video chat with other voice chat programs like Google video chat. The software will contain security features like the ability to block unwanted callers and a locking feature, so the system can't be used by unauthorized persons.

Cisco began accepting preorders for Umi today, and will make the system available at Best Buy stores and Magnolia Home Theater outlets. on November 14th. The system's hardware package will be sold for $599, and the service will cost $24.99 per month. The company is also working with Verizon to bring Umi to Fios wireless customers early next year.

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