Cisco not actually doing augmented reality, but they'll sell you a new router!

October 21, 2009 by Dave Haynes

Networking giant Cisco got lots of attention last week with the viral and placed release of a YouTube video showing a young woman doing some pretty wild arm-flapping and waving to try on outfits, using a virtual mirror, in a clothing store. The video strongly inferred that Cisco was enabling augmented reality applications in retail. 

The capabilities of what this was showing, and where augmented reality’s capabilities are at right now, were, ummm, different. But dutifully we noted there was a big Cisco event planned for Oct. 20 to let the world know what this was all about. Dutifully, I checked it out again Tuesday and confirmed suspicions this was a pretty nice, expensive slice of Hollywood and not a bunch more.

The Cisco “Borderless Networks” marketing push makes the somewhat fanciful leap that the latest version of its integrated services router makes this possible.

That and a laundry list of other things — particularly non-existent software capable of actually doing what the video shows.

Most people in this industry will suggest Cisco could stand to do a way better job explaining and marketing what they currently do in digital signage, never mind what they will have, at most, a tenuous role in when the technology catches up to the creative vision. 

Cisco recently announced a 1,500 screen install at Miami’s NFL stadium, which is a BIG deal. But the information release was so convoluted it barely got covered and noticed by this trade’s press.  



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