Last week, Cisco (www.cisco.com) threw a curve ball into the enterprise space, announcing an Android-based tablet focused on high-quality video conferencing. The “Cius” (See Us) hardware support HD voice both in the tablet form and via the optional docking station that supports HD voice, making it the latest and greatest in recent video announcements that will bring wideband voice along on its coat tails.
Cius isn’t going to come cheap at $1000 list price – but then, when has anything shiny and new from Cisco been bargain priced? For that matter, slapping the label of “enterprise” on anything tends to jack the price up in short order.
The heart of Cius is a 1.15 pound tablet running Android with a front-mounted 720p HD camera capable of up to 30 fps, a seven (7) inch "super VGA” touchscreen display for real time and streamed video, a single button for “TelePresence” interoperability, 5 megapixel rear-facing camera for “Streaming VGA” quality video, dual noise-cancelling microphones for audio conferencing, an accelerometer for orienting apps for viewing in portrait or landscape mode, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi for enterprise campus mobility and 3G cellular support (bet on Verizon and AT&T) off campus. Down the road, 4G support will be available.
A “detachable and serviceable” battery provides eight hours of life under “normal use,” saith Cisco.
But we’re not done yet. There’s also Bluetooth and micro-USB built in to the “HD Soundstation” dock, along with GigE wired connectivity and a handset “option.”
The product is supposed to ship in Q3 2010 for customer trials and go GA in Q1 2011.