The development of Cisco System's new iPad-like multimedia device, the gnomically named Cius, was coordinated out of the networking giant's RTP campus over the past 18 months.
Cisco unveiled the 1.15-pound Cius (pronounced "See Us") today as the company, known for its switches and routers, continues its vaunted move into consumer products.
The Cius runs on the Android operating system, allows high-def video streaming and docks with Cisco TelePresence technology for video-conferencing. It has a front- and rear-facing camera and functions as a virtual desktop with standard features like Wi-Fi and text editing.
Cisco describes the device as a "business tablet." The target retail price is projected to be less than $1,000. At the risk of pushing analogies too far, one could say the Cius combines elements of the iPad and Kindle and Blackberry.
The Cius is expected to be available for purchase in the first quarter of 2011.
The company began developing the product about 18 months ago under the guidance of P.J. Barber, a Cisco director based at Research Triangle Park.
Barber led a small team of engineers spread across RTP, Richardson, Tex., and San Jose, Calif.
According to Cisco, Barber's team is responsible for the early incubation of the business tablet, including concept development and early focus group testing.
Subsequent product development was led primarily by engineers at Cisco’s campus in Richardson, Tex., but a group of about 30 to 40 engineers in RTP continue working on Cius testing and development.