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Augmented Reality in the Drivers’ Seat

Augmented reality (AR) isn’t new but it definitely continues to gain momentum and is becoming a driving force in the way we engage with our content rich world. An AR experience is appealing to most age demographics because it enables us to interact in fresh and engaging ways with a variety of mediums. So no surprise that ABI Research estimates the market for augmented reality in the US will reach $350 million in 2014. That’s up from only $6 million in 2008!

I have explained in past blog posts what AR is in detail, see the below list of blog links to learn more. To recap for those who are new to the concept Wikipedia defines augmented reality (AR) as a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.

Here is an example of AR solutions that have been generating a lot of buzz and excitement J

At CES this year Mercedes Benz unveiled their experimental networked applications with augmented-reality and gesture-controlled features. Of course Mercedes is not the only automaker exploring how to make the car smarter and most are experimenting with voice controlled features because obviously there are safety concerns with these approaches.

“Cars are becoming platforms to participate in the digital world in a fully networked sense, just like your tablets can and your phones can,” said Venkatesh Prasad, a senior technical leader with Ford Motor Co.’s innovation division. “It’s our job to take those computing services people are used to at 0 mph and make them available at 70 mph.”

For example, icons flash on your car windshield, hologram style, as your car approaches restaurants, stores, historic landmarks or the homes of friends. Point at them, and the icons open to show real-time information such as when that building was built, concert schedules at a local theater, or reservation options at a restaurant. Wave your hand again, and you’ve made a restaurant reservation. Or take Mercedes’ messaging app which will create a menu of text options based on your location and your car’s speed — “I’m stuck in traffic,” or “I’m just north of San Jose” — and display them on the screen. So if you are late to a meeting you can choose from the options  and push a button to post the one that fits, instead of having to manually type the words.

These systems are not road ready yet and most automakers are looking beyond to making the road safer by working on systems that would allow vehicles to talk to each other about road conditions, weather and traffic issues. Read More »

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#1 Kudos for

Web analysts SiteIQ have just ranked among business IT sites, tying with our friends at, and beating out 22 other sites for the honors.
SiteIQ noticed the many subtle improvements we’ve been making across the site in the last year: “[There] is hardly a space on this site that one can’t notice a single, although quiet, improvement. This relentless march towards optimal usability is exactly what gained its first place ranking—and made share the spotlight.”

I know there’s a lot still to do to make into the best in the world, but nice mentions like this certainly boost our resolving to keep driving to that end.

See the SiteIQ blog for more on their rankings.

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Security Practices for Online Collaboration and Social Media

In my last blog we discussed how on-line tools for desktop sharing, audio and video collaboration, and enterprise social software play an increasingly important role in corporate business. We discussed how the industry is also seeing a trend toward “IT consumerization,” where employees and other users experience new technologies before they are supported by enterprises. The first impact of this trend is producing more employee requests to access their personal social media accounts from their work computers as a way to manage both work and life responsibilities. The even bigger impact is that employees want to use these types of collaboration tools for enterprise business purposes.
Read More »

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“Social Enterprise” Day 1: Meet the Speakers #SMWSF #SMWCisco

We want to dedicate today’s blog post to all of our wonderful speakers at the “Social Enterprise” Hub, Day 1. Without further ado, check out the lineup below and make a note of our hash tag for the day (#SMWCisco) as well as the speakers’ Twitter handles. Happy tweeting and we hope to see you on February 14!

9:00 – 9:50 Executive Dialogue: Social Media through an Executive Lens Read More »

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The best for me or the best for you?

A wise teacher told me once never to put my daughter at a hurdle she could not jump. Of course the hurdle might be difficult to jump and she might need to do some training to jump it, but make sure that it is a realistic possibility.  Find the things she is good at and set her up for success. Let her use her individual and unique strengths. Don’t be guided by what is good for everyone else. Be careful where you let her fail. Believing this to be good advice, I try to proactively seek hurdles where she can use her strengths and achieve results and occasionally by-pass hurdles which are best left for other children (maybe my other daughter) to try to jump.

It is hard though not to be sucked in to the peer pressure of parents around me. Maybe it is the circles I mix in but the pressure for our children to perform academically at the expense of everything else is overwhelming.  A  friend of mine with young children asked me if she should  pay  for extra tuition  to get her children into “best” senior school in the area?  Her current parent peers are all supposedly paying for extra tuition.  This question disappointed me on many levels. Do we only have one measure of success – our children have to be the best? Is the “best” school in the area best for my individual child? We all have strengths regardless of our age, gender or background that should be harnessed, nurtured and encouraged.  Recognising those strengths is perhaps the most important role of a parent. Whatever happened to variety being the spice of life?

I was at my daughter’s ice skating club this weekend and saw one of the children really upset off the ice talking with her mother. As you can imagine many injuries occur with this sport, so once her daughter was back on the ice I asked if she was ok. The mother answered “Oh yes she is just upset as I may stop her ice skating as she is not improving and she will never make it to the top!” Again she wanted her daughter to be the best and that was her only measure of success it seems. In fact her daughter is a happy, friendly child who connects easily with others – she may not be a top skater, but she is the top networker on the ice rink and that’s a skill that will be very valuable later on.  I really wish we could relax, appreciate and enjoy each other’s strengths much more – especially in our children.

A few weeks ago I was in Turkey with around 200 colleagues from our “Emerging Theatre” – Middle East, Turkey, South Africa, Russian and African regions. I felt truly energised being surrounded by such a diverse group of people. Learning about the different cultures, experience, viewpoints and approaches but knowing we were all on the same team was exciting and added a new dimension to my day job. It was visibly clear we needed more women in the room but those present were highly valued and encouraged – a great environment!  The recognition of the delights of such diversity should be encouraged in our childhood and then maybe we will be more appreciative in adulthood?

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