Chris Kranky

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Desktop video

Chris KoehnckeChris Koehncke

I awaken each morning whether the world has checked into a psychiatric
hospital or whether I should. Technology bloggers hoping to curry favor with
the supplier heap vast amounts of praise in the silliest of products.

Yesterday, I commented on video conferencing systems,
clearly they’ve got better and less expensive and as a result applications that
were at the edge of being economically viable are now more so. All the video
conferencing guys have to do is sit back and let the sales roll in.

Polycomvvx But in the midst of this Polycom announces a personal
desktop video phone, the VVX 1500 (picture shown). I’ve seen it, played with it
and like all things from Polycom, it’s great quality and works well. Unfortunately,
the VVX cost $1,100 (quantity 1).  Who in
their right mind is going to buy a telephone (notwithstanding the video
element) for $1,100?

The reality is that someone will, namely the customer’s CEO
will get one as he’s signing the PO to buy 50 systems for all his conference
rooms.  It will be a show of power,
importance and he’ll feel like he’s in touch with technology.

Years ago, Nortel did a touch screen black PBX telephone, it
was almost impossible to use, but it looked cool and sure enough, we packaged
one with every PBX quote and sold one with each system. No one cared how much
it cost and for the CEO, the more expensive the better.

Thus the VVX 1500 is easily a cool new executive toy, though
I’m unsure how often the video element is likely to see actual use.