Flip side

Networking giant Cisco has made its foray into the consumer electronics space with the launch of a new range of Flip video cameras. José R. De Souza speaks to Cisco Consumer Products’ Mohammad Meraj Hoda to find out more.


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Published: Sat 30 Oct 2010, 10:32 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:53 AM

What prompted Cisco’s move into the consumer space?

Cisco’s consumer vision is focused on building great consumer products that enable people to live a connected life that is more personal, more social, and more visual. We are utilising our world-class experience in the networking, software and video arenas to deliver on this vision. Cisco Consumer Products will focus on two essential consumer categories; home networking and the shoot and share pocket camcorder segment.

Wireless connectivity used to be restricted to computers connecting to the internet. Now it is a whole lot more with a wide range of electronic devices featuring wireless connectivity. Can you explain this trend?

True, internet connectivity is not just limited to computers but a range of consumer gadgets such as mobile phones, music players, video streaming, voice calls, home printers, gaming consoles, etc. The phenomenal demand of consumer gadgets with wireless capabilities in the region signifies the advanced level of technology use here in the Middle East.

Given the comfort and flexibility it offers to consumers, we see this trend continuing to shape the technology sector. By having all of these devices interconnected via the Internet, people are able to more easily share their life experiences. This is exactly what we mean when we say we are helping people to live a connected life that is more personal, more social and more visual.

By providing a unifying element at home, Cisco meets this growing consumer need as more people share content, play games online, stream music and videos, download content, and increasingly expect that content to be available on devices anywhere.

It is increasingly important for consumers not just to be able to connect to the Internet, but also to make all of their devices connect seamlessly to the Internet, to easily set them up at home, and to make them connect and work together. This is where our Linksys wireless range of routers and gateways comes in.

What’s the next big thing we can expect from Cisco consumer?

In recent years the convergence of IT and entertainment has seen consumers embrace lifestyle enhancing technology, ranging from wireless home network set-up to ‘easy to shoot and easy to share’ video. As a global leader in this field, Cisco Consumer Products will continue to introduce new consumer technology such as Flip Video in the Middle East, raise awareness for its expertise in home networking and educate both partners and consumers about Cisco’s consumer offering.

We are very excited to be launching Flip Video in the Middle East in November 2010. Flip Video is key to Cisco’s strategy to expand its momentum in the media-enabled home and capture the consumer market transition to video networking. Flip Video will take Cisco’s consumer business to the next level as it strengthen Cisco’s portfolio of products, brands and technologies and better positions it for the push and transition to video networking and other related efforts.

With the explosion of video sharing now expanding internationally on sites like YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook, Flip Video is positioned to be the on-ramp for mainstream consumers to participate in this exciting new area of communications.

Is there really room for a product like the Flip HD video camera? How relevant is the product in light of the fact that the iPhone 4 features HD video recording capabilities, and it’s only a matter of time before this will be a standard offering across high-end mobile phones?

Since the brand was launched, there have been still cameras with video, mobile phones with video, and of course camcorders. Each product were supposed to be a major challenge for Flip, but it turned out that even people with all of those devices still wanted a Flip Video in their pocket. Of course everyone wants the latest technology, but even more importantly they want an experience that is fun, easy and affordable. Flip gives them exactly that experience.

With the help of our signature Flip-out USB arm and the pre-loaded FlipShare software, Flip users are able to easily organise, create and share their videos for sharing, viewing, editing and more…in a way that is unmatched by our competitors. Literally with just a couple of mouse clicks, you can share your videos with friends and family via email, Facebook, YouTube and other channels.

Flip has been available in the U.S and Europe for quite some time. Why has Flip taken so long to reach the Middle East?

Although first launched in the US Flip video is gradually being launched in markets across the globe. Our decision to launch this fall in the Middle East reflects Cisco’s confidence in the long-term future of the region’s consumer economy and video market.

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