Cisco ceasing sales of Umi video hardware

Cisco says it's done selling hardware for its Umi video-conferencing hardware, but it will continue to support it for people who already purchased it.

Cisco's ill-fated Umi.
Cisco's ill-fated Umi. Cisco

Cisco Systems is pulling the plug on another one of its video-centric consumer products.

The communications company today acknowledged that it has ceased sales of its Umi video-conferencing hardware, which it introduced in October 2010.

"While we are ending the sale of Umi, the Umi service remains unchanged," a Cisco spokesperson told CRN in a statement. "Existing customers will continue to be able to use the service to make calls to other Umi subscribers or to Google video chat accounts."

CRN reports that the shelving of the hardware formally began last month.

Cisco originally pitched Umi as a high-end video conferencing tool for consumers, giving them a way to chat with friends and relatives in high definition, from the comfort of their living rooms.

The $599 gadget was attached to a $24.99 a month subscription service, giving buyers a way to get 1080p video chat on their televisions to other parties who had the device. Cisco cut the price of the hardware and the service some six months after launch, adding a lower-priced model with smaller broadband requirements and access to the platform through software for PCs and Macs.

The move to shelve the Umi, which was hinted at by Network World last week, comes nearly nine months after Cisco announced plans to exit parts of the consumer electronics business and integrate Umi product into its Business Telepresence offering. That change brought with it the shelving of another Cisco product: the Flip--a handheld video recorder Cisco bought with its $590 million acquisition of Pure Digital Technologies in early 2009.

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