Cisco to Parry With Skype For TV Sets - Set to Launch Consumer Version of its High End Video Conferencing Technology

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Cisco is to announce their riposte to Skype's move into connected and smart TV with an announcement on Wednesday, says Quentin Hardy at Forbes.

Word is that it has something to do with the high-end two-way video Cisco calls “telepresence.” We’ll see how many comparisons with Google TV are written.

However, in a move that seems eerily like Hollywood's answer to the changing dynamics of their market, Cisco actually believe that consumers will pay an extraordinary sum for their product.

The Wall Street Journal first leaked the rumour, revealing they are developing a telepresence product for homes. Problem is - the Cisco system, which includes a video camera and a device that connects high-definition TVs to the Internet, will be priced at $600 and require a $30 monthly subscription fee which is probably what you can buy a Panasonic or Samsung TV with Skype which happens to be free for the basic version.

“Cisco has been trying to woo companies with conferencing-room setups it markets under the term "telepresence," to indicate the realism of the experience. It has also been using acquisitions to beef up its capabilities in the field,” the WSJ reported on Thursday.

Skype is also opening up it's proprietary software for third party developers - think Facebook and iPhone apps and segue to all kinds of new possibilities around Skype with innovation being driven by hundreds or thousands rather than a few cubicles at their central offices. Cisco does not have a chance. Particularly if Skype gets into bed with Facebook as it's rumoured. A fusion of social media, teleconferencing, and chat with recommendations is truly a multiscreen social TV behemoth. 

Follow Skype's TV progress on Twitter at  @skypeonyourtv


About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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