The power of connectivity is driving change at an unprecedented rate, fueled exponentially by technology. According to Cisco’s latest Visual Networking Index (VNI), over half a billion mobile devices and connections were added in 2013 and, by the end of 2014, the number of connected devices will exceed the number of people on the planet. And as mobile network connection speeds double by 2018, it will become easier and faster to increase the number of your connections, as well as how you use them.
Not only is everything (and everyone) getting connected – but those connections are getting smarter. It’s making us redefine what it means to be connected and moving us to see the world through a different lens. It’s about more than just creating connections -- the user experience is now the new benchmark.
The experience starts with you. Self-tracking is a growing trend, with wearable devices and embedded computing becoming more and more pervasive in our daily lives. This is what’s driving the quantified self movement, defined as “an advanced way of collecting data about an individual’s life using technological tools.” I’ve been using activity-tracking devices for some time and currently own all of the most popular brands, so I can personally attest to the power of information and how it’s changed my behavior as a result. A quick glance at my wrist, for example, offers a plethora of data that helps me decide whether to walk to a meeting or perhaps take a cab – with the ultimate goal of keeping me on track to stay fit and healthy. And by gamifying the results with award badges and fun animations, these devices can also help motivate you in attaining your goals. I’m not alone in this quantified self quest -- 90 million wearable devices are expected to ship in 2014, with health and fitness wearables being the key driver.
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 our most recent Ask the #IoE Futurist question about batteries or today’s question about the smartphone becoming superfluous, I enjoy the challenge of answering them all.
A few weeks ago, brand new smartphones and wearable smartgear products were unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. While many of the specs and capabilities of these emerging devices vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, they all represent a common theme: mobile devices are not only becoming more present in our daily lives, but also changing how we connect, interact and share experiences.
As the Internet of Everything (IoE) drives more connected things, data, people and processes, how will the future of smartphones evolve? Will the endless possibilities for connected cars, shoes and dishwashers mean that the smartphone becomes one extra device for us to carry?
In this Ask the #IoE Futurist post, I’ll answer a question from John Spade (@DaSpadeR), a Cisco Champion, about how smartphones might change in an IoE world. Here is John’s question:
Question: “The smartphone lets us bring the Internet with us, but in the Internet of Everything, will the smartphone itself become superfluous?”
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a topic that’s beginning to gain quite a head of steam lately, particularly when it comes to security concerns that accompany it. Billions of new devices, most of which are in insecure locations. You don’t own them; oftentimes can’t see them; and you don’t control them in any way, shape, or form. Yet they’re sending petabytes of data through your network. It’s enough to make a security professional lose sleep for weeks at a time.
But while many security professionals are focusing on these challenges, there’s also a huge security benefit that will come in the form of IoT enabled security! Remember, IoT isn’t about the devices themselves, it’s about the network of devices – the benefits from having all of those devices work together to produce actionable intelligence. In a similar vein, securing IoT networks can’t be about the individual security devices, but rather the network of security devices, so that they can work together to produce comprehensive, actionable security intelligence in near real-time – increasing the organization’s overall security posture with little or no human intervention required.
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.
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!