umiAt the NHL All-Star Fan Fair the product vendors were in full effect. Besides a lot of hockey gear they had video games and this – umi Telepresence by Cisco.  We got a “live” demo where we sat in two rooms that looked they could be a living room and played a game where we tried to guess the name of hockey teams by only seeing their logo. (As you can see in the picture they split us up.)

Game aside the technology was interesting if not a little ahead of its time.  Sure it was neat to see each other but I don’t know if the utility is that much greater than Skype or any of the other video capable messaging systems out there.  It did run on the big screen and was in HD but is all that really necessary?  How much of the other person do you really need to see in a phone call?  My guess is this will be useful for really long distance calls and sell better if the cost to travel becomes outrageously expensive.

It was fun to play with but I don’t really expect to see one of these in my house anytime soon.  And with a prediction like that I’ll probably have two before Christmas.

Note: The product’s name actually has a little line over the u in umi.  For some reason I can enter than character but it doesn’t work when I try to publish the post. So if you see this product with a little line over the u that is it.  I am assuming it should be pronounced “you-me” which shouldn’t really need the line to pull of but much like Motely Crue and Lowenbrau it just looks cool.