As previously rumored, Cisco has now announced its new telepresence product, called “Umi”. Although it has great specs and some interesting features, the price point seems a bit high when compared to other new options on the market.
Umi has high definition output and its 1080p HD camera boasts the latest bells and whistles. Videos made with Umi can be shared on Facebook, YouTube and through e-mail. However, these features come with a hefty price tag- $600 for the hardware and a $25 per-month or $275 annual service plan, which makes it slightly more costly than our initial speculations.
In other tech news, Google has announced their intent to move into your other home screen with the debut of Google TV. Partnered with this was Logitech’s announcement of their Revue device, which will be a complete media box (including Google TV capability). The set top box retails for only $300, and DISH Network customers can get the Revue at a discounted $180.
Logitech will sell an optional camera for $150 that enables HD video calls and has similar features to Cisco’s Umi. Logitech’s camera can be hooked into the Revue (or any Google TV device) to enable a full telepresence suite for your home system.
So for $450 (or $330 if you have DISH Network) and with no monthly cost, it’s possible to get HD telepresence, GoogleTV, and a lot of really cool entertainment features for your home media setup- a no-brainer, really.
Logitech will also launch Revue with several apps:
Vid HD for video calls
Netflix to watch streaming movies (unlimited membership required)
Pandora and Napster to stream personal music stations/libraries
Twitter to post or read tweets while watching TV
CNBC app designed specifically to show real-time stock information and customized watch lists, as well as “exclusive” video content
Logitech Media to browse photos, music, and video from a computer networked to the device
Logitech Alert Camera Viewer to see your security cameras on TV
The Revue includes the follow ports:
Logitech unifying technology to connect up to 6 Logitech accessories
HDMI in and out ports
Two IR blasters
Two USB inputs
SPDIF to connect digital optical cable.
Using Revue will require an HDTV with HDMI, Ethernet or WiFi, and a Cable or Satellite set top box with HDMI out.