Cisco Launches Android-based Cius Business Tablet

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Cisco has unveiled Cisco Cius, a first-of-its-kind mobile collaboration business tablet that delivers virtual desktop integration with anywhere, anytime access to the full range of Cisco collaboration and communication applications, including HD video.

Cisco Cius is an ultra-portable device weighing just 1.15lbs (0.52kg) that extends the productivity benefits of Cisco collaboration applications to a highly secure mobile platform. In addition to full telepresence interoperability, Cisco Cius offers HD video streaming and real-time video, multi-party conferencing, email, messaging, browsing, and the ability to produce, edit and share content stored locally or centrally in the cloud.

Based on the Android operating system, Cisco Cius is an open platform for communication and collaboration whose form factor and applications are designed to more securely connect employees on-the-go with the right people in real-time, and to provide those workers with the ability to access and share the content they need from any place on the network.

Cisco Cius offers IT professionals new options when it comes to equipping mobile workers with computing devices. Through virtual desktop integration, Cisco Cius offers flexible computing options with cloud-based services, providing dramatically lower capital costs and cost-per-user for desktop maintenance.

Businesses can also tap into the growing Android developer community that is building business-class productivity applications with appropriate IT controls.

“Cisco Cius epitomizes how the network is changing the way we live, work, learn and play,” says Tony Bates, senior vice president and general manager, enterprise, commercial and small business, Cisco. “This platform can transform how healthcare professionals advance patient care; how retailers deliver service experiences to consumers, or how universities deliver world-class education to their students. Best of all, Cisco Cius offers IT functions a way to dramatically lower the cost-per-user of provisioning those new experiences.”

The combination of applications and flexible computing options provides a compelling alternative to today’s PC-on-every-desktop paradigm.

Among Cisco Cius’s many features:

  • It offers an optional HD audio station equipped with a telephone handset speakerphone, HD DisplayPort and USB ports;
  • It features a front-mounted 720p HD camera which refreshes at up to 30 frames per second; a 7” high-resolution widescreen super VGA touch-target display for real-time and streamed video, and single-button TelePresence interoperability that can be used either when the tablet is docked, or being used remotely via Wi-Fi;
  • It offers a 5-megapixel rear facing camera that can transmit streaming VGA quality video and capture still images, and dual noise-cancelling microphones for audio conferencing;
  • An on-board accelerometer readily orients applications for viewing in portrait or landscape modes as the user rotates the device to their preferred viewing orientation;
  • Cisco Cius supports 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi for enterprise campus mobility and 3G cellular services when off-campus. 4G services will be available at a later date. Bluetooth and Micro-USB means users can work untethered and share data with a PC;
  • A detachable and serviceable battery offers eight hours life under normal usage.

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.

It’s supported by Cisco Unified Communications Manager and is easily integrated into existing Cisco customer environments. And it helps ensure a more secure mobile collaboration experience by leveraging Cisco AnyConnect VPN Security, part of the Cisco Borderless Networks architecture.

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.

Customer trials of Cisco Cius will begin in the third quarter of calendar year 2010, with general availability in the first quarter of calendar year 2011.

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