June 29, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
Cisco is the latest of many companies to announce that it plans to release an Android-powered tablet. The Cisco Cius will be a media-centric tablet geared towards business users who want to stream HD video for video calls and conference with multiple people.
The Cius will be an Android-based “Virtual desktop” designed for productivity.The Cius includes a phone dock and a detachable tablet with eight hours of battery life. It runs a customized version of Android that includes an accelerometer and 3G/Wi-Fi/4G (coming soon) web connectivity.
The major selling point Cisco stresses is the ability to remain in communication using a front-facing camera capable of streaming 720p video at 30 frames per second on a widescreen SVGA touchscreen. The rear camera is 5-megapixel and streams VGA, snaps photo, and works with dual noise-cancelling microphones. Throw in business standards like email, messaging, and cloud-based services, you’ve got something that may catch-on.
The operative word is “may” since we’ve seen so many promises of Android tablets but nothing tangible and decent has materialized save the WeTab. Trials of the Cius will begin in Q3 2010, and businesses will be able to freely purchase the device beginning in 2011.
Here are some highlights available from the announcement:
- 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 (APIs) to developers through a Software Developer’s Kit (SDK).