I have said before that the technologies we are putting on the desktops of the employees has been in their homes for a fair few years. I read today that Cisco are now looking to do the opposite and take their TelePresence business video conferencing system into the home.
Most of you will know about the TelePresence 3000 system, costing around $300,000 which is a little out of the price range if most households (admittedly it isn't designed for the home so fair enough). After completing their business plan, Charles Giancarno commented on their plans for consumer telepresence:-
"The system will use one screen -- the consumer's own large high-definition TV -- and will be designed for ease of installation and use, he said. In the beginning, it will run on a stand-alone device connected to the home broadband Internet connection. But eventually, it would probably be integrated into a set-top box and run a service delivered by the cable or telecommunications provider, Giancarlo said. Starting a year or two after introduction, prices would probably start to fall, he added."
My personal feeling is that different people have different video conferencing needs, its both the quality and ease of use that's important and they will be forgiving with the former as long as the latter is worth it. It will therefore be interesting to see what type of consumer goes to by this solution, especially when it costs around $1000 at the start.
For now, I suppose people will have to save up their pennies and use XBOX Live or Windows Live Messenger to talk to their Nan in Australia until this launches.