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From the Mine Shaft to the Store Shelf — an IoE Revolution in Manufacturing

Since Henry Ford, the alchemy of turning raw materials into mass-produced products has been complicated and challenging. At best, it has been a delicate and precarious balancing act; at worst, something akin to herding cats.

The trick has always been to align ever-shifting patterns of customer demand with far-flung ecosystems of miners, designers, suppliers, engineers, factory workers, truck drivers, sellers, and so forth. Yet the process of orchestrating such intricate value chains has often been based on art (hunches) more than science (data).

Today, however, the Internet of Everything (IoE) — the ongoing explosion in networked connectivity among people, process, data, and things — is transforming manufacturing in startling ways, just as it is changing so many other industries.

IoE delivers seamless, intelligent connections to every corner of the manufacturing value chain, optimizing the flow of products, information, and payments in real time.

The Cisco IoE Value Index study found that in 2013, manufacturing had the largest potential share of IoE Value at Stake, at $224 billion. Yet, it was poised to realize only 46 percent of that potential bottom-line value.  The key to closing that gap lies in much-improved machine-to-machine and machine-to-people connections, resulting in smart factories, smart grids, and connected supply chains, among many other IoE-related innovations.

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Fame and Fortune Awaits: The Cisco IoT Security Grand Challenge

March 12, 2014 at 2:43 pm PST

Despite its overwhelming business benefits, the Internet of Things (IoT) also significantly increases security risks, via a dramatic increase in attack surface and diversity of potential threats.  And since IoT is a significant component of the larger Internet of Everything (IoE) market transition that combines connected devices with people, process, and data, it’s even more imperative that we ensure that the things we connect are secure. To achieve this goal, the security community needs to work together to develop innovative security measures.

That’s why Cisco is pleased to announce the IoT Security Grand Challenge, an industry-wide initiative to bring the global security community together to secure the IoT, and deliver intelligent cybersecurity for the real world - before, during, and after an attack. Companies and individuals are invited to develop solutions for one of three focus areas - Malware Defense, Security Credential Management, and Privacy Protection. Cisco will select up to six winners, each of whom will be awarded $50,000 USD. The winners will be announced at the IoT World Forum this Fall.

Interested in participating? Visit www.CiscoSecurityGrandChallenge.com for full details about the challenge and begin preparing a response. Submissions are due June 17th, so get started right away. Good luck!

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How the Internet of Everything Will Shape the Next 25 Years of Internet History

This week marks the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web, an important milestone as we look at how far we’ve come and how the Internet of Everything (IoE) is shaping our future.

Developed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a researcher at CERN, the Web was borne from the need to keep track of complex, large-scale projects without the loss of important information. We’ve come a long ways since March 1989, when Berners-Lee published his idea of “linked information systems.”

Today, IoE is driving connections beyond just data. The convergence of connecting people, things, data and processes is transforming organizations, industries and our lives. The growth of mobility and cloud computing is further driving innovation and an increase in the number and kinds of connections.

Cisco Internet 25

To illustrate this transformation, let’s take a quick look at life just two decades ago. According to a new national survey to mark the 25th anniversary of the Web, Pew Research revealed that in 1995, 42 percent of U.S. adults had never heard of the Internet and an additional 21 percent were vague on the concept—they knew it had something to do with computers and that was about it. In addition, 20 years ago, only 14 percent had access to the Internet.

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Ask The #IoE Futurist: “Will the future of battery technology prohibit the advancement of computers or technology in general?”

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. Given the positive feedback and the volume of questions being submitted from the community around the first series, I’ve decided to do another series to answer questions from the education and tech community around the Internet of Everything (IoE). Whether the questions are global in scope, such as how the Internet of Everything will shape our world, or small in nature, like today’s Ask the #IoE Futurist question about batteries, I enjoy the challenge of answering them all.

It's true what most school teachers say, “There is no such thing as a bad question.”

In fact, when it comes to questioning what the future of technology looks like, the ideas from Malcolm Gladwell’s famous book, The Tipping Point, come to life.

Gladwell states that a tipping point is when a small idea, technology or trend crosses a threshold and “spreads like wildfire.” Today, we are witnessing a tipping point in technology innovation that is representative of small innovations that have a compounding effect on society. Microscopic sensors, tiny wearable mobile devices, miniscule packets of energy, and even an AA battery have the potential to impact future innovation and what it means to be connected.

In this post, I’ll answer a question from Chad, a student of Cisco Champion Karen Woodard, about how specifically new developments in battery technology could impact new solutions.  Here is Chad’s question:

Question: “Will the future of battery technology prohibit the advancement of computers or technology in general?”

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Making Smarter Manufacturing and IoT a Reality Today

Recently, Lopez Research published a white paper entitled Building Smarter Manufacturing with the Internet of Things (IoT). It is a worthwhile read especially for industrial and manufacturing companies as they wrestle with the implications of IoT for the factory floor and beyond. 

The paper describes what IoT means for manufacturers today, including some of the compelling business benefits and value from improved connections between people, processes and data. A recent video infographic, ‘Manufacturing Tomorrow’s Possibilities’ produced by Cisco Consulting Services cites some statistics, including how intelligent connections across the value chain resulted in ‘reduction of time to market drives 1.2% bottom line improvement’:

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