The city of Nancy was once the Art Nouveau capital of France. Today it is a smart city, incorporating tagging systems in its municipal infrastructure to give citizens access to data captured from traffic lights, bus systems, crosswalks, and more. Companies are developing technologies that combine this data and location information to solve everyday inconveniences for people. A team of Cisco Networking Academy students from University of Lorraine used this connection of people, process, data, and things to improve life for visually impaired people. They created a networked walking stick that helps users move safely and independently in smart cities like Nancy.
In Monterrey, Mexico, deep economic and social gaps separate rich from poor, educated from uneducated, legal from illegal. In 2008, the city started experiencing violence related to turf battles between warring drug cartels. Drug use and high murder rates continue to steal the lives of youth, tempting those who lack the skills for traditional jobs into much higher-paying, high-risk careers of narcotics and crime.
To help young people withstand the pressure of crime and violence in cities near the United States-Mexico border, Cisco has partnered with World Learning and the United States Agency for International Development to provide information and communications technology (ICT) and entrepreneurship training at high schools. Cisco Networking Academy courses are offered as part of the program. In the first year, almost 500 students participated.
James Lynch’s Nissan Leaf bolts down a shady street in San Jose, California, hardly making a noise as it zips between lanes at 40 miles per hour. With the quick flick of the transmission and a forceful press of a foot, the powder-blue car jumps ahead on the smooth pavement with the force of a small sports car. This isn’t a Mustang, though.
It’s an electric car, and James Lynch is one of thousands of Cisco employees worldwide committed to reducing their gasoline consumption and carbon footprint by changing the way they drive. Cisco is supporting employees like James by installing more electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on its campuses worldwide.
Cisco joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Workplace Charging Challenge in March 2013, contributing to a national goal of achieving a tenfold increase in the number of employers offering workplace charging in the next five years. More than 55 companies have joined the Workplace Charging Challenge. According to the Department of Energy, there are 8514 public charging stations and over 20,000 charging outlets available to electric vehicle drivers in the United States.
Cisco’s EnergyOps team is tasked with reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency at our offices, labs, and data centers worldwide. Cisco’s labs are our largest consumer of energy and although we are putting a lot of effort into improving the efficiency of those environments, we’re finding great success in taking a more holistic approach that includes implementing efficiency opportunities within all of our building support systems such as HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), building controls, and lighting.
For example, in January 2014 we engaged in such a holistic energy efficiency effort at a number of our Shanghai facilities, which included three primary areas of improvement:
- Computer room air conditioning (CRAC) unit retrofits
- Software upgrades for cooling equipment
- Lighting upgrades for offices
In just 3 months, 5 buildings at our Shanghai location underwent energy efficiency upgrades in these areas that will generate approximately US$145,000 in savings per year.
“If you want to use the music from Frozen in your game, do you know how to download a gif to match?” Not the average question I have heard in a conference room at Cisco headquarters in San Jose, California, especially when asked to 7-year-old girls! The girls were part of a group of 14 children participating in a coding camp held at Cisco and put on by Embark Labs. The goal of the event is to teach 7 to 10 year olds to have fun while learning how to program.