Cisco's Flip Video SlideHD goes on sale for $280

New Cisco Flip device offers 16GB to store four hours of HD video

Cisco Systems Inc. continues to promote its video data offerings, such as the new Flip Video SlideHD pocket camcorder that became available today, as the technology becomes more dominant on all kinds of networks.

The new device, now available online for $280 and at many retailers, provides a 3-inch wide touchscreen LCD display that slides to an angle for viewing. The Flip Video system comes with 16GB of internal storage for capturing up to four hours of HD video, double the capacity of previous Flip models.

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Photo courtesy of Cisco Systems

The technology came to Cisco from its March, 2009, acquisition of Flip developer Pure Digital Technologies. With the acquisition, Cisco was looking to take advantage of what it saw as a future explosion in demand for video over network devices.

Though the Flip devices are mostly seen as consumer-focused, Cisco clearly sees potential biusiness uses. For example, the devices could be used by realtors to show properties, by multiple industries to describe a service or record any event in great detail.

Cisco CEO John Chambers has been known to pull out his own Flip camera to record reactions of members of the audience where he is speaking.

Analysts have said that Cisco must move quickly to widely distribute the Flip devices before Apple adds the ability to shoot HD video to its its iPhone and iPod Touch products.

The Flip device also faces potential competition from from several other smartphone makers, and emerging devices like Microsoft's new Kin product that capture video for quick and easy distribution over wireless networks. The Kin product will be available next month from Verizon Wireless.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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