Late last month, Cisco Systems‘ unveiled their juiced-up answer to Apple’s iPad known as the Cius. Designed primarily for use in business and learning environments, the Cius allows users to communicate and collaborate like never before.
The innovative tablet’s front side features 720p HD camera for video chat and a 7″ VGA high-resolution touch screen. On the back of the tablet there is a 5 MP camera that can also stream video. Additionally, the Cius has 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and supports wireless 3G/4G networks. The Cius runs on the Android OS platform will have an open API so that developers can create applications to suit their needs and the those of their organizations. The Cius is set to release in early 2011.
When I first heard of the Cius I was really excited not just because I love Cisco, but because I see so much potential in this product. Picture a 6th grade student that is at home sick with a contagious illness. Assuming he or she has the energy to stay awake and pay attention, the student could “tune into” the classroom and avoid falling behind because they were absent.
Likewise a factory manager in Detroit who is dealing with a machine malfunction could use Cius to visually show an engineer in Raleigh what the problem is who can then easily explain a solution. Similarly, an owner of a large landscaping company could use the Cius to talk to his project coordinator across town and visually inspect the crew’s work without ever leaving his office. The Cius, like the iPad, increases productivity through its mobility, but it does so in such a way that is practical for all facets of business.
Needless to say, I believe that there is a lot of opportunity in the tablet market for a product like the Cius. I say that as someone who is nearly finished with college and is ready to enter the full-time work force very soon. In fact, I’m very anxious to try one out for myself at some point once they are available, maybe even purchase one if the price is right. (Then again, I hear they’re going to offer the product in the fall on a customer trial basis.) If you would like to know more about the Cius, visit the Cisco News site for the press release.