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After the massive success of the Apple iPad, Cisco is releasing the Cius in 2011, a tablet designed for business use that runs on Android software. The device (pronounced "see us") is set up with virtual desktop integration, meaning that the device will provide the same experience as the office computer. In addition, the device will include Cisco collaboration and communication applications, high definition video streaming, multi-way video conferencing and full access to view and edit content stored both on the business premises and in the cloud.
The device was demonstrated at the Cisco Live customer event Tuesday by CEO John Chambers, who made a video call to a submarine in the Aegean Sea. (Yes, you read that correctly, a submarine.)
The Cius weighs just over one pound, and has a an Intel Atom 1.6-GHz processor, 720p HD front facing camera, a seven-inch high resolution touch screen, a 5-megapixel rear facing camera, noise canceling microphones, accelerometer, Bluetooth, Micro-USB, detachable eight hour battery, WiFi, 3G cellular capability and is 4G ready. In other words, this baby is loaded.
While a final price has not yet been released, Barry O'Sullivan, senior vice president of Cisco's Voice Technology Group said Cisco's goal was to sell the Cius for less than $1,000.
Wired.com has already called it "the BlackBerry of Tablets," which depending on the circle you run with could either be a complement or a diss.
The potential for such a device in a law practice is endless. A mobile device that is always synced to the office would be incredibly useful. Computer users are increasingly clamoring for a seamless experience between devices.
Soon it will be as simple as touching a screen and pulling up drafts of motions from your office computer. Or "face-to-face" negotiations between an attorney on a train in San Francisco and one on a jet to Tokyo (or perhaps a submarine).
Client interviews: why not do them via videoconference? Perhaps not far behind will be depositions via Cius videoconference. Better stock up on those air miles now, Mr. Clooney.