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Evolving Millennial Connections Using Wearables

Don’t look now, but that guy’s app just measured his heartbeat when he saw you and we think it’s a match! Sound far-fetched? Well, it’s not.

In a very interesting (and possibly draining) year-long dating social experiment, a Newsweek contributor discovered that finding love has gone beyond reviewing online profiles, as some of the industry’s largest match-making companies are developing “wearables” and apps that are becoming the newest weapon in match-making. Utilizing everything from musical playlists to physiological reactions (like that racing heartbeat) the apps match daters in close vicinity with similar-minded interests. Not surprisingly, millennials are becoming some of the fastest adopters of the wearables movement.

In a recent survey, more than half of millennials revealed they were excited about the growth of the wearables market. And it’s no wonder, considering the fact that overall, millennials are an extremely connected and influential generation. They’ve grown up in a world where smartphones are the norm, social media apps are preferred communication platforms and an untold number of studies have been conducted on best practices for marketing to them. And the lens from which they view technology – as an expected day-to-day necessity – is part of the reason they’re the power behind the growing widespread adoption of wearable technology.

As the Internet of Everything continues to evolve and connect more people, process, data and things, wearable technology is not only delivering more information to us – but also bringing us all closer together. Holidays like Valentine’s Day are the perfect reminder that connections matter and go to the heart of who we are as people. Considering our natural inclination to seek out meaningful connections and the technology we have on-hand, wearables are on trend to become an invaluable networking tool, empowering an entire new level of collaboration and opportunities between employees, clients and business leaders.

According to the Cisco 2014 Connected World Technology Report, millennials believe a wearable device will be an important part of workplace 2020. Indeed, it’s estimated more than 177 million wearable devices will be in use by 2018. With a smart phone in one hand, and perhaps a fitness tracker attached to their wrist, mobility is an essential part of the millennial lifestyle. In other words, they are data-driven and businesses the world over have taken a new look at everything from their recruiting practices (using Skype for interviews) to mobile-office options to recruit and keep millennial talent on board. Companies who have embraced a holistic approach to mobility are moving in the right direction, as the millennial workforce shuns the idea of carrying multiple devices to perform work-related tasks.

A couple of years ago, I talked about a connected workforce, focusing specifically on millennials and how their perspective, as the newest generation of workers, would alter the employment scene as we know it. I’m by no means a fortune teller, but myself and the entire industry have seen this become reality. Through the tools of the Internet of Everything – wearables among them – millennials are empowered to connect with people who they have never had the chance to meet and learn from. These connections and the cross-sharing of ideas, goals and common experiences are opening up a new world of opportunity as the world changes and our connections evolve.

What type of new experiences and opportunities for wearables do you hope to see in the future? Share your thoughts here and be sure to follow the discussion using #Internet of Everything.

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IoT’s Prominence at Cisco Live Milan

The Internet of Things (IoT) was a hot topic at Cisco Live last week in Milan. I got to spend a lot of time with customers, partners, and developers, and came home impressed by the tremendous focus on IoT applications. There is an enormous amount of energy directed at building on the foundation Cisco is creating.

If you weren’t able to join us in Milan, here is my list of the week’s highlights.

The opening day keynote Read More »

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In the Beauty Industry, IoE “Lights Up” How People Try On, Wear, and Even Produce Custom Makeup

Connecting Dark Assets: An ongoing series on how the Internet of Everything is transforming the ways in which we live, work, play, and learn.

For months now, I’ve been talking about how the Internet of Everything (IoE) “lights up” dark assets—but I never thought I’d be talking about makeup in that context. Of course, my wife would be quick to point out that many people consider makeup a critical asset, so it’s really not that different from other things whose value increases through the networked connection of people, process, data, and things. Here are three examples: Read More »

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Why We Need Diverse Perspectives in IoT – Experience from the University of Wisconsin-Madison IoT Lab

We need to create more effective mechanisms for attracting and engaging a diverse group of students in technology.  In my work as an educator and collaborator with leading companies in a variety of industries, I have noticed a trend: that including women, minorities, and those pursuing non-STEM disciplines in Internet of Things (IoT) technology-related learning is a critical issue that needs to be addressed to yield the greatest benefit from IoT.  I am personally very passionate about this topic.

IoT-800x800-ImgWhen we launched the University of Wisconsin-Madison, our Internet of Things (IoT) Lab in February 2014, one of our primary objectives was to provide students unique interdisciplinary learning and innovation experiences with IoT technologies. The IoT Lab is not associated with any course – the students who are participating in the IoT Lab are doing so because they are intrigued by and excited about IoT technologies and potential applications. This hub also serves as a campus technology sand-box and innovation community where students from diverse disciplines come together and engage in fun, social, collaborative learning and hands-on experimentation.

The IoT Lab has adopted a novel approach for successfully engaging students.  It has fostered participation by dozens of undergraduate and graduate students (a large fraction being women) representing a range of disciplines including not only engineering and computer science, but also other “non-technical” disciplines such as business, human ecology (retailing and consumer sciences), nursing, economics, journalism and mass communications, mathematics, physics, statistics, and philosophy.

There are several key insights that we have gained through our experience in engaging students with IoT.  Here are two: Read More »

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Summary: Top 10 ICT Trends in 2015: are you ready for digital transformation?

By Kevin Bloch, Cisco Chief Technology Officer, Australia and New Zealand

One of the best parts about my job is that I get to spend a lot of time listening to some very smart people, both internally within Cisco and externally. As we touch so many parts of the global technology industry and market, it puts me in a fantastic position to see what’s coming down the track. So, each year around this time, I take the opportunity to offer some predictions for the year ahead (which, incidentally, is Cisco’s 30th birthday).

It will probably come as no surprise that the biggest theme you’ll hear about this year is digital transformation, which is essentially underpinned by the Internet of Everything (IoE). In the next twelve months, enterprises will spend more than $40 billion globally, designing, implementing and operating the Internet of Things (IoT). Already thirty-eight percent of technology spend is outside of IT.

Read the full Top 10 ICT Trends in 2015 blog and feel free to provide any feedback.

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