Cisco on Wednesday touted video as the new killer app, and announced plans for a U.S. test of a home video conferencing service in the spring, which will also allow consumers to interview tutors and other service providers via a marketplace function. The company also added new partners to its Eos media platform.
CES 2010 LAS VEGAS – Cisco on Wednesday touted video as the new killer app, and announced plans for a U.S. test of a home video conferencing service in the spring. The company also added new partners to its Eos media platform.
Cisco also championed the success of its Flip Video camcorders. More than one million Flip Videos were uploaded via the FlipShare software in December 2009, a 395 percent increase from last year.
Cisco has a long history of providing video conferencing services to businesses, but this year, the company is looking to extend that presence into the home. In the spring, Cisco will partner with Verizon for “home telepresence field trials.” Across the pond, the company will conduct a similar trial with France Telecom in late 2010.
Cisco did not provide details on how many people will test the service.
Cisco chief executive John Chambers demoed the home-based video conference system at a press conference with reporters. Chambers chatted with his wife, connected to a doctor via a service called Health Connect, and searched for and connected with tutors for an executive’s son.
The home screen looked much like any connected TV, with options for video, messages, Health Connect, a marketplace, your use history, and more. With Health Connect, the system will ask a few questions about how you’re feeling before the system connects you to a doctor or nurse.
In the demonstration, the tutor was found through the Marketplace system, which includes personal video services from chefs and yoga teachers, to travel consultants to financial advisors. Marketplace allows potential client to call the listed people up for an interview, with the option to later scroll down and purchase video-based lessons or sessions directly from the screen.
In addition to video, Cisco is also expanding its Eos media platform.
Eos helps businesses build and maintain Web sites, whether they be music, video, or social networking portals. Cisco first demoed Eos at last year’s CES with Warner Music Group as its founding partner. Cisco is now adding the Travel Channel, All Access Today, and The Eleven Seven Music Group/Tenth Street Entertainment to Eos.
The Travel Channel will be using Flip cameras to upload content to the Web, All Access will be launching WillyNelson.com later this month, and Tenth Street will be expanding the presence of acts like Motley Crue.
“The Eos platform is specifically focused on bridging the gap between personal and branded content,” said Ned Hooper, chief strategy officer and senior vice president of consumer business at Cisco.
Since signing on to Eos 12 months ago, Warner Music can now deploy Web sites five times faster than using other platforms, Hooper said, “which gives them the flexibility … to bring new acts to the market at a greater speed” than competitors.
Hooper pointed to Warner Music band Paramore, which has an Eos-developed Web site. Since the company’s new site launched last year, the average time a user spends on the site has jumped from 6 minutes to 8.5 minutes, a 30 percent increase. A Paramore-branded Flip camera, meanwhile, became the number one traffic driver to flip.com at its debut and is currently sold out.
Cisco launched Eos 2.0 last week, which included 400 new features, including Facebook Connect integration, easier Web site migration, advanced customization, and tiered membership management.
In other news, Cisco announced Wednesday that it will provide NBC with the video network infrastructure for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games in February.