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My #InternetOfEverything Perspective: Why the Global Society Needs IoE

Glen Hiemstra, CEO of Futurist.com, shares his perspective on why the world needs the Internet of Everything. See the latest “My #InternetOfEverything Perspectives” blogs from Tom Touchet of City24/7 and Dave Barnes, CIO of UPS.

The role of a futurist was a little different in the pre-Internet world. During the 1980s, I had the chance to hear Willis Harmon, a futurist at Stanford Research, speak about computers and the global society. He discussed that everyone has this perception that the “computerization of everything” was making the world more complex. Rather than confining to everyone else’s opinion, he offered up a more unique perspective. He wanted people to consider that maybe the increasing complexity of global society was causing computerization. It’s a classic chicken before the egg debacle.

The same line of reasoning can be applied to the Internet of Everything (IoE). Rather than thinking of all the changes that IoE is bringing or enabling, it may be useful to think of all the global challenges that could be solved by connecting people, process, data and things. Cisco’s Chief Futurist Dave Evans recently discussed how the IoE is making the world a better place, and I want to expand on his ideas a bit and showcase how valuable, networked connections are enabling a more efficient future.

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Here’s a look at just two ways IoE is changing how we address multifaceted issues on a global scale.

The Internet of Everything Enables Connected Environmentalism

Have you ever considered that the civilization we created in the last 100 years, and the Internet of Everything for that matter, depend heavily on our ability to locate new sources of long-dead plants and animals, dig them up, and light them on fire? I heard Bruce Sterling discuss this idea from his book “Tomorrow Now: Envisioning the Next 50 Years” once at an event.  It’s true -- we live an extremely primitive life when we sum up what Sterling refers to as the “human race’s primary industrial enterprise.”

We are well aware of the future problems that this life is creating.

By the end of the next decade or so we will either have figured out how to use smart technology to reduce the carbon and other green-house gas impacts of our insatiable global energy generation needs, or make significant cut-backs in life-style will be on the horizon. Evidence for the global climate crisis is likely to continue to accumulate, and thus we will see greater social and political pressure for major change in the energy picture, including more efficiency and cleaner energy.

None of that happens without a highly connected data network, which enables both smart people inventing new things, and smart devices and infrastructure and vehicles making leaps in efficiency (and safety too!). This social movement is likely to become more powerful if the ice in the Arctic fully melts out one summer in coming decades, as many experts suspect that it will.

The Internet of Everything Drives the Future of Transportation

Our everyday transportation has its benefits, like getting us to and from work. However, as more car crashes continue to claim lives, the rise of smart transportation, connected workers and changing attitudes about driving could help improve safety and positively impact the environment.

In addition, recent surveys prove that younger generations are less likely to obtain their driver’s license. Does this mean that we are over the thrill of driving? Seems like it. Surveys show that if given the option between having a car or having a smart device, people increasingly choose the smart device. In fact, our main reason for driving since the car was invented was to commute to and from work. According to some recent Tweets, people today desire four major things during their commute:

1)      Get from point A to B

2)      Get work done

3)      Improve or not damage the environment

4)      Enjoy their personal interests

What if we could experience all four of these things without driving?  A smart infrastructure combined with smart private and transit vehicles capable of autonomous driving could make this happen. But we have a long way to go if that kind of future transportation is to be made available, including the need for smart roads that provide extensive information and smart vehicles that talk to the infrastructure and each other.

Being a futurist has definitely changed in the last 30 years, and I am sure it will be much different in the next 30 years. But one thing is for sure: if we still want to even have a future, we need to solve today’s global problems, starting with the environment and transportation.  And the IoE is just the way to make it happen.

Do you know of any other global challenges that IoE can solve? Share them with us in the comments section below or join the conversation, #InternetOfEverything. And be sure to listen to the new Future of Mobility Podcast I recently participated in with Dave Evans, Cisco Chief Futurist. A summary of the podcast can found on SlideShare.

Additional Resources:

Future of Mobility Podcast : Wearable to Aware-able _ Contact, Connections and Context from Cisco Business Insights

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Why Should You Participate in the Cisco #IoT Security Grand Challenge?

May 1, 2014 at 5:00 am PST

Eight weeks ago, Cisco launched the Cisco IoT Security Grand Challenge, an industry-wide initiative to bring the global security community together to secure the IoT. Despite its overwhelming business benefits, IoT adoption also significantly increases security risks. So this Challenge is really just a blatant attempt to bring the best and brightest security minds to the table to help us find innovative IoT security solutions. Thus far, it’s worked – we have some fantastic submissions. But we know there are more out there and we’d love to see what you can do!

If you’re interested in learning more about the Challenge, please plan to attend a free one hour webinar on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 12:00pm EDT. Dave Evans, Cisco’s Chief Futurist, and Dr. Tao Zhang, Cisco’s Chief Scientist for Smart Connected Vehicles, will talk about why the Challenge is so important to the future of IoT, and answer any questions you may have. This is a live, interactive webinar, so bring your specific questions. I’ll see you there!

Dave Evans Webinar 2

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Video: the Super Sensor of the #InternetofEverything

A key advantage of the Internet of Everything (IoE) is the ability to “see” the world around us in unprecedented ways.

One way to do this is through the millions of cheap, tiny digital sensors generating data from shoes, tires, shopping carts, jet-engine parts, medical equipment, and just about anything else you can imagine.

But another type of sensor promises even deeper visibility and insight: video. Connected video — when deployed in the right situations and combined with other IoE components, such as analytics and mobility — can truly transform the ways in which we sense the world. And for organizations, video will provide rich, real-time insights that will drive hyper-aware decision-making and predictive strategies.

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Ask The #InternetOfEverything Futurist: “How Will Emerging Technology Preserve and Enhance the Past?”

In my role as Cisco’s Chief Futurist, I get many questions about what the future holds and how new technology and emerging solutions will change our lives. Be sure to check out previous Ask the #InternetOfEverything Futurist blogs and videos about the advances of battery technology, future of smartphones, new retail models and how new solutions will integrate with our five senses.

Imagine being able to watch your entire life happen before your eyes or being able to recall specific memories and events, as to relive them the exact way they happened. As the Internet of Everything (IoE) and the network to support it evolve, our lives will be able to literally flash before our eyes.

Today, the first versions of this technology are being developed and utilized to create digital copies of landmarks and monuments. For example, cyber archivists are increasingly using a 3D data recording processes that utilizes a spinning laser on a tripod to collect millions of points of information. Once objects or monuments are fully scanned, the archivists combine the collected data with photographs and then create a virtual version that can be used in classrooms around the world or for various other applications.

Not only will we be able to create an index of digital copies from buildings, monuments and landmarks, this technology will advance to the point that we can record and organize event sequences that take place over the course of our lives. However, this information is useless unless in can be securely accessed in real-time. One point is clear, with this influx of connected people, process, data and things, the Internet of Everything depends on a stable and secure network as we make our own history come to life.

In this Ask the #InternetOfEverything Futurist post, I’ll answer a question from Cisco Champion, Robert Novak, who asks about what the Internet of Everything will mean for preserving our past and our building our future. Robert asks:

Question: “How do you see emerging technology being used to preserve and enhance the past?”

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Girls Among the Geeks: Why Women Should Absolutely Seek Careers in Tech

Choosing a career in technology turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. At one time, however, it seemed counterintuitive to enter such a male-dominated industry. I’m not an engineer. I don’t have a degree in computer science. The only traditional tech skill I possessed was a small knowledge of HTML programming language, which I at one time used to put up static web pages. Today, that skill is useful only for editing blog posts.

What I was trained for was design. I moved into technology because it offered me a fresh way to leverage those talents while having a bigger impact. As a designer, I was taught to understand the context of a problem and to generate insights and creative solutions. I switched from a career in print design because technology was providing exciting new ways to reach people. I found it fascinating and wanted to be a part of it.

Apparently, I’m in the minority. A Forbes article cited research from Maria Klawe, a computer scientist and president of Harvey Mudd College, in listing some of the main reasons women don’t choose tech careers. Many believe that they won’t find a career in tech interesting, while others fear they won’t be good at it. A third concern is working in such a predominantly male bastion.

I have to say that my experience on all three counts has been just the opposite.

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