Uniquely Identifying Things Enables the Internet of Everything to Thrive
In February 2014, patents are set to expire on selective laser sintering, the key to industrial-grade 3D printing. This is expected to cause an explosion in 3D printing.
In a recent interview, GE CEO Jeff Immelt cited his company’s rapid adoption of this technology in manufacturing its new line of jet engines. “3D printing allows you to make that product right the first time,” he stresses, adding that it is “worth a lot of investment.” The UPS Store also sees the importance of this potentially game-changing technology. It is running a test program that will make it the first national retailer in the United States to offer 3D printing services targeted at helping entrepreneurs, architects, startups and other retail customers.
In the Internet of Everything realm, 3D printing promises exciting opportunities by enabling unique identifiers to be printed directly onto a product or product part. In the GizMag article RFID be gone: Why you might soon be 3D printing the Internet of Things, author James Holloway explores the emerging field of terahertz imaging (Tz). Scientists have developed a way to print a unique 3D tag called an InfraStruct, which is added within the object as it is being printed. These tags take on various forms or patterns, giving an object a unique fingerprint, or “watermark”. The InfraStrut can be read by a scanner using terahertz radiation. The terahertz band falls between microwave and infrared wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. Current RFID technology requires a chip that can slow the printing process and increases the cost of the item; printed Tz IDs would greatly simplify and streamline the process. Terahertz could ultimately provide new ways to connect certain objects at a lower cost by recognizing items without the need for a chip.
Looking forward, a Tz scanner could be built into your smart phone. You could then scan the aisles at your local retailer for the precise plumbing part to mend your broken sink — or the right color cartridge for your home printer. Retailers, in turn, could associate special deals with your buying history. Scan that sofa through your shopping app and up pops a personal discount aligned with your level of brand loyalty!
The success and growth of the Internet of Everything depends on connecting staggering numbers of people, processes, data, and things. Discovering novel ways of connecting new things —including being able to make those connected objects uniquely identifiable — will continue to be crucial.
What are other ways do you see emerging that will uniquely connect things?
Tags: Cisco, Internet of Everything, internet of things, IoE, IoT, network connections
Waiting rooms. Lengthy paper work. Medical bills. When you are ill, these are the last things you want to worry about. Checking in to your appointment shouldn’t take longer than your visit with the doctor, and the old paper charts just aren’t cutting it anymore. The industry has taken huge steps in moving to electronic health records (EHR), but what’s next? With the Internet of Everything connecting people, processes, data and things, how can electronic health records and smart devices play a role in saving lives?
A couple of weeks ago, I kicked off a new blog series called “Ask the Futurist” where I answer questions about the future directly from you. Today’s question comes from Isaac Naor, SVP & Chief Technology Officer at Ping Mobile:
Question: “Will more smart devices in healthcare drive medical institutions to innovate by creating a single universal digital format for medical records?”
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Tags: Cisco, forecast, healthcare, innovation, Internet of Everything, internet of things, IoE, IoT, mobility, network, Tomorrow Starts Here
For most of us, technology has become an integral part of our daily lives and promises to become even more prevalent in the near future due to the emerging technological revolution called the Internet of Things (IoT). The number of connected objects now exceeds the world’s human population, and is expected to grow exponentially over the next three to five years.
The early stage of IoT has already started making our lives easier and far more comfortable, giving us the ability to remotely monitor our homes and businesses, turn on the lights and heat before we return home from a long day, and even help us find a place to eat in an unfamiliar city. In fact, so many of our daily activities are becoming automated through the use of IoT technologies, we will soon wonder how we could have functioned without them – similar to looking back now on the pre-smart phone era! Read More »
Tags: Black Hat, connected car, DefCon, hacking, internet of things, IoE, IoT
The retail industry is facing unprecedented changes. Since Amazon went online in 1995, technology has been blurring the boundaries between virtual and physical retail space. The third annual Cisco study of consumers found that nearly 80 percent of U.S. consumers use the Internet to shop. Armed with their smartphones, customers now walk into a store with much more knowledge and power in the palm of their hands than ever before, enough to keep retail executives up at night.
Nearly one out of three shoppers search on their mobile device before purchasing in store. Customers want to know if items are available in the right size, right color, and right now. These shoppers expect the same prices, products, and offers regardless of the channel being used (e-commerce websites, brick-and-mortar stores, or mobile devices). I’m surprised at how many stores really don’t know what’s in stock. To keep up with today’s savvy shoppers, retailers need to update their inventory systems using signals from their supply chains, online presence, back rooms, and front stores in real time. And all of this is the in the context of shrinking customer spending, rising business costs, and competition.
With these monumental shifts in consumer behavior, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the biggest Internet of Everything (IoE) Value at Stake opportunities reside in extracting customer insights and creating better experiences. For years, retailers have trusted Cisco innovations to help them improve the store experience, increase supply chain efficiencies, and deliver a consistent multi-channel experience to their customers. Just last month, on stage at Cisco Live with John Chambers, I demonstrated Cisco’s location-based services to help retailers improve planogram and measure campaign effectiveness through the movement of customers. But there is much more that the Internet of Everything can do to address the two main goals of retailers: revenue and loyalty.
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Tags: augmented reality mirrors, Big Data, Cisco’s location-based services, Internet of Everything, IoE, retail, Third Annual Cisco Study, value at stake
The Internet of Everything is reshaping every aspect of our lives—including how and where we work. Think back to the 1950s, when the telephone was the only connected device in the typical office, and collaboration happened only when coworkers physically walked to a conference room for a face-to-face meeting.
Today, we take for granted an ever-expanding collection of connected devices and collaboration tools that didn’t even exist 10 or 20 years ago—smartphones, tablets, ”smart” white boards, online meetings, web video conferencing, online document sharing, TelePresence, social media—all helping us change the ways we communicate, collaborate, and share.
With the amount of new technical information in the world doubling every two years, the future holds the promise of even greater, faster change. Google Glass is just the beginning of a whole new category of wearable technology that will enable even tighter integration of technology with work and life.
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Tags: Ava 500, Cisco, Dave Evans, DavetheFuturist, future of work, Google Glass, Idea Champions, Internet of Everything, IoE, iRobot, robots, workplace of the future