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New Study Shows Value of Internet on Retail

October 2, 2013 at 5:03 am PST

For that last few years, Cisco has been watching the impact of the Internet on transforming the retail industry. As more people, processes and things are connecting to the Internet, retailers can capture more data to better predict when and where consumers will want to buy and capture more revenues.

Today, Cisco released Internet of Everything research that equates to $81 billion globally in 2013. But this represents only 45% of the opportunity that could be gained by the Internet of Everything. Retailers could have realized an additional $99 billion this year if they were more connected across their operations.  The good news is that retail IT executives are confident that can capture this value.  On average, retail IT executives rated their ability to capture Internet of Everything at 7.2, on a scale of 1 to 10.

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Ask The Futurist: “How Will Mesh Networking Affect Robotics?”

For as long as I remember, robots have always been cool. Perhaps it’s my passion for all things futuristic, but I don’t think I am alone in saying robots have provided a glimpse of what could be possible. Looking at today’s Internet of Everything (IoE) world, robots have advanced from the 1950s tin wind-up toy robots and the affable C-3P0 and R2-D2 from George Lucas’s Star Wars, to emerging technology that has the potential to improve our lives and increase shared connections.

Today’s “Ask the Futurist” question is focused on how robotic technology and its supporting networks will evolve over time. Here’s the question from William Maguire, a wireless engineer.

Question: “How do you think mesh networking will affect robotics in the next 20 years?”

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Cisco Positive Train Control: Enhancing End-to-End Rail Safety … and More

Positive Train Control (PTC) is one of many new safety measures mandated by the U.S. Federal Government to help prevent train-to-train collisions, derailments and other human-caused accidents. If warnings to slow down or to stop a train go unnoticed by an engineer, the locomotive’s onboard computer will automatically apply the brakes after a certain amount of time, with the intention to prevent a collision and potentially save lives.

Earlier this year in April, Cisco and Lilee Systems announced plans for the industry’s first end-to-end communications network for PTC with a proof-of-concept network, located in the San Francisco Bay area, to verify communications architecture. Today, this vision has become a reality that is ready for the market with Cisco Positive Train Control (PTC) 1.0.

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A Global Standard for Narrowband Power Line Communications

Steep increase in global demand for Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Electric Vehicle charging, and Intelligent Street Lighting has spurred interest to implement communications for these Neighborhood Area Network (NAN) applications over currently installed assets.  Narrow Band Power Line Communication  (NB-PLC) addresses this need by providing a communication solution which operates over existing utility distribution networks.

IEEE 1901.2 Narrowband PLC: Final Steps to the Finish Line

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Driving to the goal of a global NB-PLC standard, Cisco is vigorously engaged in the development of   IEEE 1901.2 NarrowBand PLC.  IEEE 1901.2 adopts the latest generation PLC techniques and  provides full adaptation to the latest IETF enabling technologies for IPv6 based NANs (6LoWPAN, RPL, MPL, etc.). IEEE 1901.2 is further aligned with other important Smart Utility Network technologies such as IEEE 802.15.4g/e.  Multi service IP based NANs are thus a reality, able to seamlessly support a mixture of PHY/MAC technologies appropriate for specific deployments

The IEEE 1901.2 standard is in its final stages of development, with publishing of the finished document expected by the end of 2013.

HomePlug Netricity for Conformance and Interoperability Certification

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With the imminent arrival of the 1901.2 standard comes the need for a certification program to insure product conformance to the specification and interoperability between multiple vendor’s product offerings.  The HomePlug Powerline Alliance is rising to this challenge.  HomePlug’s Netricity program, with the full support of Cisco, is moving smartly ahead with development of a conformance and interoperability certification program for IEEE 1901.2 based devices.  Expect certification testing to begin 2014.

Cisco salutes the commitment and expertise of the entire 1901.2 and Netricity development teams. A global standard for interoperable NB-PLC will soon be a reality!

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The Rush Hour That Wasn’t So Rushed

Every morning, many of us have the same routine: the alarm goes off, we (reluctantly) get up and maybe hit the gym before showering and getting dressed. We gulp down a cup of coffee or bowl of cereal as we rush out the door to try and beat the traffic to work.

What if there was a better way? What if rush hour wasn’t so rushed? Picture leaving for work in your car one morning while it’s raining. As you begin your normal commute, a car half a mile ahead is involved in a fender bender due to the slick roads. Before the accident can snarl rush hour for everyone in the area, the connected network jumps into action. Safety systems on board the car involved in the accident automatically send alerts about airbag deployment so the network can pinpoint the reason for the delay and make an evaluation of the time it will take to clear the accident based on road assistance availability. Video surveillance allows 911 operators to quickly evaluate the seriousness of the situation – a two-car fender bender versus a multi-car pileup – and dispatch first responders or tow trucks accordingly.

As roadside help is on its way, the intelligent network synchronizes the traffic lights around the congested area to keep you and everyone else moving. Based on your new estimated time of arrival to the office, your calendar automatically updates, changing your first in-person meeting to a conference call via WebEx, instead, that you take from your cell phone in your car.

At the same time that you are rerouted around the accident scene, the transit authority automatically sends notifications through smartphone apps to riders citywide of delayed buses, offering alternate routes. But there is no rushing here – the transit authority talks to the alarm clocks, too, updating them to ring five minutes earlier. What if, on top of all those transit updates, your connected coffee machine updates, too, so that it makes you that cup of Joe as soon as the alarm goes off at the new time? That’s something I’d certainly appreciate!

The Internet of Everything is making these things possible. It is changing every aspect of our lives today – even the little things that we might not think about. Notifying commuters of traffic delays and offering alternate options can improve customer experiences and increase ridership. That can, in turn, reduce the number of cars stuck in traffic, improving the quality of the environment and even people’s health. People, process, data and things work together thanks to a unified framework approach, creating value for individuals and businesses alike.

Explore the interactive image above to learn more about the changes that IoE is making possible. And share your thoughts! Send me a tweet: @JimGrubb.

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