Cisco unveiled Cisco Cius, a business tablet running on the Android OS that offers "virtual desktop integration with anywhere, anytime access to the full range of Cisco collaboration and communication applications, including HD video." Now before you think iPad killer, you should know that Cisco is focusing this tablet on the business enterprise not the consumer market. It sports WiFi, 3G, and soon 4G when it becomes available. Nice! It also has a front-mounted 720p HD camera supporting 30fps.
I should add that many enterprises are using iPads as laptop replacements, so I wouldn't classify the iPad as strictly a consumer product. I'd venture a guess that 60% of iPads are used by business professionals for both work and home use. Thus, Cius could easily eat up iPad market share. With the Cius sporting the front-facing camera, which the iPad doesn't, the Cius could easily crack into that 60% market share due to the telepresence / HD video capabilities. Add in the growing popularity of the Android community and apps, and Cisco could have a winner on its hands.
Cisco Cius weighs just 1.15lbs (0.52kg) offers full telepresence interoperability, HD video streaming and real-time video, multi-party conferencing, email, messaging, browsing, and the ability to produce, edit and share content stored locally or centrally in the cloud. It has a special docking station, which essentially converts the tablet into a HD desk phone as seen here:
Because it runs on the Android operating system, Cisco Cius is an open platform for enabling third party development. The existing Android apps should work easily on the Cius.
- The Cisco Cius is a lightweight portable business computing tablet offered with an optional HD audio station equipped with a telephone handset speakerphone, HD DisplayPort and USB ports.
- The Cisco Cius tablet features a front-mounted 720p HD camera which refreshes at up to 30 frames per second; a seven inch, high-resolution widescreen super VGA touch-target display for real-time and streamed video, and single-button TelePresence interoperability that can be utilized either when the tablet is docked, or being used remotely via Wi-Fi.
- The tablet has a 5-megapixel rear facing camera that can transmit streaming VGA quality video and capture still images, and dual noise-cancelling microphones for audio conferencing.
- Cisco Cius features an eloquent contacts-driven user experience, designed to enables users to quickly reach their important contacts.
- An on-board accelerometer readily orients applications for viewing in portrait or landscape modes as the user rotates the device to their preferred viewing orientation
- Cisco Cius supports 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi for enterprise campus mobility and 3G cellular services when off-campus. 4G services will be available at a later date. Bluetooth and Micro-USB means users can work untethered and share data with a PC.
- A detachable and serviceable battery offers eight hours life under normal usage.
- Cisco Cius provides support for the comprehensive suite of Cisco collaboration applications including Cisco Quad, Cisco Show and Share, Cisco WebEx Connect, Cisco WebEx Meeting Center, Cisco Presence, and interoperability with Cisco TelePresence.
- Cisco Cius is supported by Cisco Unified Communications Manager and is easily integrated into existing Cisco customer environments.
- Cisco Cius helps ensure a more secure mobile collaboration experience by leveraging Cisco AnyConnect VPN Security, part of the Cisco Borderless Networks architecture.
- Virtual desktop integration provides IT organizations with the ability to host software applications securely in the data center and to utilize the Cisco network to deliver those applications 'as-a-service' anytime, anywhere. Cisco Cius thereby supports data center consolidation and reduced software licensing costs.
- Cisco Cius offers businesses the ability to take advantage of the ever-expanding ecosystem of cost-effective, third-party applications, supported by the Android operating system, while controlling user access policy.
- Cisco will help expand Android developed applications for business by offering Cisco Collaboration Application Protocol Interfaces (API's) to developers through a Software Developer's Kit (SDK).