June 06, 2012, 9:35 PM — Cisco this week unveiled a TelePresence endpoint for workers in nontraditional settings, like those caught in a storm, stuck in traffic or otherwise detached from the usual 9 to 5 business world.
TelePresence VX Tactical is designed to be used in harsh environments. It might be suited for the military, and in emergency response, construction, oil and gas, and health-related environments, Cisco says.
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In addition to HD video, VX Tactical features a lightweight, ruggedized industrial design with an aluminum interior frame to maintain structural strength. It also has a sunlight readable screen housed within a portable "suitcase" form factor, Cisco says, and is designed to be water-, sand-, chemical- and corrosive-resistant.
VX Tactical carries a standard Ethernet port and can also connect wirelessly to the Internet over Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G or satellite.
Cisco also unveiled products to bring TelePresence to areas where connectivity is limited to ISDN. Cisco TelePresence ISDN link is an appliance that provides ISDN and external network connectivity so customers can use a variety of Cisco TelePresence endpoints: EX, MX, SX, C Series and VX Tactical.
Cisco also rolled out an ISDN Gateway to provide ISDN connectivity for multiple endpoints. The ISDN Gateway products support all Cisco TelePresence endpoints, Cisco says.
Though VX Tactical another hardware-based collaboration endpoint, Cisco is increasingly counting on software to grow its collaboration business. It recently ended development of its Cius tablet endpoint, promising to further develop collaboration software for tablets like Apple's popular iPad.
Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 25 years, 21 at Network World. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy.
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