SAN FRANCISCO, March 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cisco is pairing its wireless technology leadership with Flip Video's simplicity-in-design approach to launch Valet™ -- a breakthrough new product line that makes home wireless simple and accessible for everyone. Valet is designed to transform how families use the Internet in their homes so they can enjoy the freedom of wireless access without the traditional frustration and complexity of setting up a home network.
"Valet is home wireless made easy," said Jonathan Kaplan, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Consumer Products. "With complementary backgrounds and expertise, our Cisco and Flip teams have combined forces to change the rules for home wireless with a product line that empowers consumers to easily set up, enjoy and manage all of their wireless devices anywhere in their homes."
Untapped Home Wireless Market
While consumer demand for wireless products is on the rise with a tremendous array of new devices in the market, research from IDC(1) reveals that only one-third of US homes are currently set up for wireless use. This surprisingly slow adoption of home wireless is largely due to the complexity of current offerings that are too technical for the average consumer to install and manage on their own. At the same time, the demand for wireless-enabled products – such as mobile phones, gaming systems, and music players – is extremely strong according to ABI Research data that reports more than 264 million of these types of devices shipped worldwide in 2009.
"Consumers have felt powerless and frustrated with the entire process of home wireless, but with Valet we are tearing down the walls and opening it up to everyone," added Kaplan. "The market for wireless-enabled products is exploding and now mainstream users will be able to take full advantage of all the new opportunities."
Quick Set-Up and Simple Management
Valet is the first wireless product line to make it simple for anyone to set up and manage their own home wireless network. Consumers simply insert the included Easy Setup Key right into a USB port in their PC or Mac and the Cisco Connect software takes over. Unlike other wireless products that require 20 to 30 complicated steps to set up a single computer, Cisco Connect takes you through three steps from start to finish. The Easy Setup Key retains all setup information and can be easily inserted into additional home computers to seamlessly add them to the home's wireless network.
Personalized Wireless Experience
Once set up, Valet gives consumers a simple way to manage their family's home wireless experience. The included Cisco Connect software makes it easy to: 1) add additional devices to the network, 2) set parental controls, 3) provide Internet access for guests on a separate guest network and 4) customize personal security settings such as passwords.
Valet also provides a new level of control for parents with simple tools to manage their family's online experience. Valet's Cisco Connect software lets parents easily set controls on the fly, so they can modify web usage for certain days and times of the week, or even for temporary periods. For example, if teens are spending too much time on social networks or gaming systems, parents can modify their wireless access so that they cannot go online after 9:00 pm on weeknights. Internet access for each personal device connected to a Valet - from a computer, to a gaming system, to a smartphone - can be individually controlled or changed as needed for the particular child or teen, including blocking inappropriate web content.
In addition, Valet makes it easy to set up guest wireless access when friends or family come to visit. With a completely separate wireless connection, guests can use their laptops or mobile phones around the house, while the main Valet home network remains secure and private.
Price and Availability
The new Valet line is offered in two models – Valet and Valet Plus – based on the size of the home and the mix of wired and wireless devices. In addition, there is a simple Valet Connector to update older computers without built-in wireless capabilities or to upgrade to Wireless-N. Valet users have access to Cisco's award-winning 24/7 phone support in the unlikely event they have a question or problem. The Valet product line is available immediately at Amazon, Staples, thevalet.com and soon at Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart and other leading retailers.
For small to medium-sized homes with primarily wireless devices. MSRP: $99.99
For medium to large-sized homes with a mix of wireless and wired devices. MSRP: $149.99
Upgrades an older computer to wireless and ideal complement to Valet or Valet Plus. MSRP: $79.99
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Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, this year celebrates 25 years of technology innovation, operational excellence and corporate social responsibility. Cisco's vision for the consumer is to enable people to live a connected life that is more personal, more social, and more visual. Further information about Valet can be found at www.thevalet.com. Further information about Cisco and its full line of consumer products including Linksys and Flip Video can be found at www.linksys.com, www.theflip.com, and www.cisco.com/consumer.
Editor's Note: Cisco is also announcing a new line of Linksys routers for tech enthusiasts today. More information can be found at www.linksys.com.
(1) IDC, Worldwide Home Networking 2010-2014 Forecast, Doc # 222355, March 2010
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Valet is a registered trademark or trademark of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and certain other countries. Other brands and products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. Copyright © 2010 Cisco. All rights reserved.
SOURCE Cisco Consumer