Cisco betting on Umi – pricey home videoconferencing system

Cisco umi Telepresence

Cisco is betting that at least some folks are willing to pay to obtain a significantly higher quality Internet video chat versus the free likes of Skype, Google Chat, AIM, et al. They’ve recenlty unveiled their umi (pronounced “you-me”) videoconferencing (or the fancier telepresence term) system that goes on sale next month.

Now when we say ‘pay’, we mean a lot – $599 for the hardware and $24.99/mo after that. Umi includes a box that connects to your TV and high-speed broadband connection (sorry lower-speed DSL customers) and a webcam that you don’t need to look straight into.

Although Oprah might be using this and giving it serious face-time (pardon the pun), this still leaves a lot of room for a more affordable player to jump into this market.

You can pre-order umi right now from Cisco.