Cisco, the worldwide leader in networking solutions, has been busy working on a device that incorporates classic office telephony and networking, with the current demand for mobility and versatility offered by tablet PCs. Their latest device, the Cisco Cius, aims at innovating on the traditional desktop PC, while offering a mobile enterprise solution that can improve employee productivity while they’re away from the desk.
The Cius is a 7 inch Android based tablet, which cisco claim is an “IP phone with rich collaborative capabilities.” Unlike other tablets that hide behind the advantages of building upon an Android platform, Cisco boast of their new product’s networking and office capabilities, with the plethora of Android applications an added bonus.
Not only does the Cius work with wireless networks, such as Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G, but it can also work on a wired connection. It is compatible with High definition Video and Voice calling services, email, and visual voicemail.
The Cius also incorporates access to enterprise conferencing software, such as Cisco WebEx and Cisco TelePresense, while also catering to Jabber instant messaging and Presence.
Contributing to its focused, professional arsenal is its use of push or pull application deployment and its local and cloud computing capabilities, helping the little tablet stay in touch and up to date while out of the office.
At 534 grams, the Cius is lighter than Apple’s iPad 2, is powered by a 1.6 GHz processor and comes with 32GB of flash memory. With such strain placed on its video interoperability, the Cius has taken the tablet route of incorporating strong camera hardware. Both front and rear facing cameras are capable of recording in High Definition, with a 5 megapixel still camera complimenting its simplistic rear design.
So far, the Cius has boasted enterprise capabilities with mobility, but what makes this tablet unique is its office integration, made all the more interesting with its optional HD media station. With retro styling mimicking traditional office land line phones, it doesn’t look like the addition of another gismo-gadget. Instead, it looks like a classic office phone (although retro), and naturally belongs there. On its right is a classic handheld receiver, with a speaker system replacing the traditional dial pad. As you’d expect, the Cius sits obliquely, with its touch screen being used to dial calls, manage emails, social networks and monitor contacts.
The media station (featured below) operates via AC power of Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches, charging the tablet while it is being used as an ordinary office phone. As deceiving as appearances may be, this is not just another updated product.
When in the station and a receiving/making a video call, the Cius supports a mirrored display, replicating video interactions on a larger screen, such as a television or computer monitor.
The beauty of the Cisco Cius is its evolutionary form. They haven’t just released another tablet that caters to a series of new features, while falling short on everything it used to do.
Instead, it is modernised technology that has enhanced its former primal functions. It is an office phone, empowered with mobility, enhanced with video interoperability and access to enterprising networks. It is an evolutionary gem, highlighting Cisco’s dynamic ability to respond and pioneer change in the business.