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Cisco's prototype video-conferencing system puts distant colleagues over your shoulder

May 6, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Jon Xavier / Silicon Valley Business Journal

When you think of Cisco, you probably don't think of great consumer-facing technology. Sure, there was the Flip camera, a solid HD camera that got hopelessly overtaken by events once cell phones started having video worth a damn. And the company's product placement spending remains strong -- if you've seen video conferencing in a movie recently, chances are it was on Cisco equipment.

But overall, the networking giant's bread and butter has always been in the network, far away from the end consumer.

Now the company's collaboration division seems to be looking to change that. Collaboration is the area that develops Cisco's video conferencing hardware and software, from high-end executive video conferencing rooms down to WebEx, its enterprise-focused Skype competitor. In the past year or so, the collaboration division has been trying to update its products to be sleeker, easier to use, and just all around more premium seeming, while pricing them to appeal to a broader audience than in the past.

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