Network Giant Scraps Web Connected Camcorder Before Release
Saturday, 16th April, 2011
Cisco axed the Flip business division just a day before it was supposed to debut a live-streaming Flip camcorder.
Image Courtesy Of GIZMONDO
Called the FlipLive, the camera would have been able to stream video to Twitter and Facebook, or e-mail a link to a real-time video feed, using Wi-Fi. Gizmodo got exclusive access to images of the device, which sports the Flip’s signature candy bar design.
Live-streaming content used to only be available to big-budget news teams with large, satellite-laden trucks. Today, most smartphones and tablets are equipped with cameras, making it dead simple to upload media to the cloud.
But live-streaming continues to be a bit more of a hassle, requiring a smartphone, a hefty data plan and an app for broadcasting live video such as Ustream. Combine this with the unreliability of U.S. 3G networks, and it makes live-streaming a pretty difficult feat.
FlipLive, which relies on Wi-Fi rather than 3G or 4G services, sounds like it could have been a pretty cool gadget, providing kids, soccer moms and citizen journalists with a simple way to deliver live footage to an audience for a low price. But alas, it will probably never see the light of day.
On Tuesday, Cisco officially shut down the Flip camera business. Blame for Flip’s demise has been placed on both Cisco, who purchased Flip maker Pure Digital in 2009, and on the the rise of the smartphone. Rumors of a Wi-Fi-enabled version had been floating around since late 2009, but nothing ever surfaced (until now).
Reportedly, 550 employees will be laid off with the Flip business’ closing.