CES 2013: Cisco Intros New Take on Videoscape Unity (VIDEO)

Cisco forecasts that by 2016 all forms of video (TV, VoD, Internet, and P2P) will account for some 86 percent of global consumer traffic. So how are they addressing such a future? At CES, the company presented its vision for the “Future of Television” by showcasing its newest version of Cisco Videoscape Unity, a hardware/software platform for video service providers (and we have video).

Based around the technology from last year’s acquisition of NDS, a maker of video software and services technologies, Unity allows cable/satellite/Internet video providers to synchronize video content across multiple screens — TVs, tablets, smartphones, PCs and Macs.

A cloud-based DVR allows one to access content on any device wherever they may be located. Content can be personalized based on viewing habits and preferences. And Unity allows viewers to blend information from their social networks and other Internet sources.

The video demo below shows Cisco’s vision of how users may someday experience television. A giant wall-sized display allows one to see not only the video content but data feeds of meta content such as game statistics, social media commentary, weather, personal calendars and local news.

You can chat with friends about the game you are both watching. Multiple family members can simultaneously display their video choices allowing one to switch back and forth as desired. You can even take photos of product barcodes to get additional information allowing manufacturers to “reach into the living room.” It’s a vision that seems ideal for the multitasker of the future.

Following the presentation, Cisco hosted a panel discussion on the TV’s future with representatives from Cox Communications, which plans to use the Cisco Videoscape Unity platform. Others with plans for Unity include BSkyB, Liberty Global, Fox TV and MLB.com.

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