SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Earlier this week, one of Silicon Valley's signature companies, Cisco, announced it is dumping the popular video camera "the flip". In doing so, it laid off 550 employees. Cisco is indicating it's re-focusing on what it does best -- delivering high speed Internet equipment.
Fans don't have to pack concert halls anymore to enjoy their favorite artists. Country singer Jewel performed in a studio at Cisco Systems in San Jose, and she's live on every device there is that connects to the Internet.
"I have fans all over the country, all over the world, and I don't travel enough. I don't tour all over the world, so it helps me stay in touch with the fans and have a real personal, intimate connection where it's not through a third party. They actually get to talk to me, I get to talk to them," said Jewel.
What makes this interaction possible is Cisco's tele-presence -- a high-def, two-way video service. Jewel fans were watching her in 10 places around the globe, including Las Vegas, New York, and Sao Paulo, Brazil. They could see her, but they may have forgotten that she could see them as well.
"I saw Miami talking through my whole song. I'm not going to lie to you, I can see you guys. Yeah, this works both ways, amigos," said Jewel.
Jewel says fans appreciate a live performance as much as she does.
"Something more special happens when you get to sing live and have people get to see your heart and your emotions when you're singing. So this is a perfect format for me. It lets a bigger audience than what can sit in a room see me and see what I do and why I do it," said Jewel.
More than 30,000 fans logged in to watch online.
"When you see entertainment and technology come together, you will see magic happening," said Cisco vice president Suraj Shetty.
Cisco is convinced this is a new vehicle for performers to connect with their fans over multiple time zones and continents.
"It's about how high-def quality video can be transmitted miles in a very well controlled network environment and at the same time be able to experience that in Blu-ray quality," said Shetty
To make this work, it takes bandwidth, faster Internet speeds and network gear that Cisco makes. And that's music to Cisco.
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