Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of Cisco’s Emerging Technologies Group was speaking at Cisco’s Networkers event and said that video was going to have a major impact on the way that networks were designed, constructed and implemented.
De Beer, whose team was responsible for the development of the Telepresence range of videoconferencing equipment, said that there were still large numbers of people who were yet to grasp the way that the new generation of videoconferencing products were going to transform communications. “Video is like chocolate: you can’t describe it, you have to taste it,” he said.
As part of his presentation, de Beer, revealed details of some forthcoming Cisco products as well as offering the first public demonstration of the home videoconferencing products that were announced earlier this month. He also revealed that the company was going to license its Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP) used for interworking between different videoconferencing terminals – Lifesize, Radvision and Tandberg have all signed licensing agreements, De Beer said that the licence would be released royalty-free to encourage take-up of the technology and that TIP would be proposed as a standard for videoconferencing communication, although he didn’t announce which standards body they would be submitted to.
De Beer also announced two new telepresence products: the TP3010 for six seats and the TP3210 for 18 seats, he said that both products would offer lower power consumption.
The demonstration of the home Telepresence centred on the range of services that could be offered, The demo focused on a maths tutor who offered interactive learning: lessons would be delivered by videoconferencing and paid for through the Telepresence system.
As for cost, De Beer said that it had not been decided how much the home Telepresence systems would cost but said that they would be “affordable for the middle-class family, they’re not for the rich.” He said that the minimum requirement would be 1Mbps broadband although the delivery might be a bit sketchy. “If you have 3 or 4Mbps, you’re going to have a pretty good experience,” he said.
De Beer added that Medianet, the media-aware architecture that Cisco uses for delivery of its videoconferencing service will be upgraded this year, with version 2.0 coming out this summer, extending the reach of the plug and play facility.