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Beyond Online Classes: How the Internet of Everything Is Transforming Education

Over the next few weeks, students will be heading back to school for the fall semester. In fact, my oldest child will be starting college for the first time, and I have another one not far behind. So naturally, I’ve been thinking about the future of education, and the opportunities and challenges 21st century technology might bring.

Technology has had an amazing impact on education in the last few years. But what we’ve seen so far is nothing compared to the sea change that will be created by the Internet of Everything (IoE) in the coming decade. The networked connections among people, processes, data and things will change not just how and where education is delivered, but will also redefine what students need to learn, and why.

When we talk about technology-enabled learning, most people probably think of online classes, which have had mixed results so far. On one hand, online courses can make higher education much more affordable and accessible. On the other hand, not all students can stay engaged and successful without regular feedback and interaction with their instructor and other students. Even the best online classes cannot hope to duplicate the rich spontaneous interactions that can take place among students and instructors in the classroom. Read More »

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Friend or Foe? When IoT Helps You Get Hacked by Your Security

August 8, 2013 at 6:00 am PST

IoT Needs Physical and Network Security 4Earlier this year, the number of connected devices reached the 10 billion mark, surpassing the world’s human population, and experts expect that number to reach 50 billion over the next two years. This phenomenon, known as the Internet of Things (IoT), comprises a highly distributed model of connected objects, devices, and sensors that are used to communicate data. Everyday products can then use that data to analyze, plan, and make intelligent decisions. While IoT promises to fundamentally change our daily lives, arguably the most significant impact of IoT will be to the business world.

While consumers will enjoy new levels of connectivity with IoT, businesses will receive the lion’s share of the benefits. IoT will usher in a wealth of intelligence that businesses can use for planning, management, policy, and decision-making that will help them maximize productivity and efficiency while minimizing costs. In fact, some of these business applications already exist. For example, by connecting their cameras to the network, retailers can use analytics tools that can help them improve customer service, understand traffic patterns, and enhance inventory decisions. Read More »

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As Connections Surge, Unique IDs Will Be Key

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.3D Printing Opportunities 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?

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Ask The Futurist: Will the Internet of Everything Make Universal Digital Medical Records a Reality?

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?”

Read More »

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Hacking Made Easy – Courtesy of IoT

July 31, 2013 at 9:12 am PST

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 »

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