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Looking for Santa? Use Cisco Location-Based Wi-Fi!

As children all around the world are eagerly anticipating Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve, children in hospitals around the Americas were able to get their wish list in before the big day. This month, Cisco teamed up with several children’s hospitals with a Santa Connection project, which allowed children not well enough to visit Santa onsite to still communicate their wishes to him from their bedside using Cisco video.

I was able to work with one of these hospitals, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, to augment the Santa Connection experience with a ‘Santa tracking’ app, which allowed children to know how close Santa was to making his virtual appearance to individual rooms in the hospital. An elf traveling ahead of the Santa Video team carried an iPad displaying a live webpage showing the location of the much-anticipated video visit. Here is a screenshot of the app experience:

santa_tracker_2

Utilizing the Connected Mobile Experiences solution, which includes the REST APIs provided by the Mobility Services Engine (MSE), we were able to show the children where the Santa team was in relation to them -- with a Santa icon where Santa’s video crew was and a smiley face showing the child’s current location. Read More »

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Naughty or Nice: Cisco Wireless Rewards Release 7.6 Innovations to All

Deloitte’s 2013 Annual Holiday survey came out with some staggering statistics:

  • Nearly 7 in 10 shoppers will use their smartphones and tablets to shop this holiday season.
  • Nearly half of all shoppers will use social media to assist in shopping.
  • 73% of shoppers will be influenced by coupons and promotional offers.

Retailers both online and in-store can no longer ignore the power of mobile technology and social media influence with shoppers. Shoppers using mobile devices inside stores are actually more likely to make a purchase when being presented with the right information. In fact, this isn’t only true for retailers, but across all industries. Whether it’s guests, visitors, patients or passengers, there’s a real opportunity for businesses to make an impression via the mobile device.

Today I am happy to announce our latest Cisco Wireless Software Release 7.6. As you may recall from Sujai Hajela’s State of Cisco WLAN blog earlier this week, Cisco’s Wireless group has been ahead of the competition with our dedication to delivering cutting edge, high performing technology to our customers.

Many features in Release 7.6 were designed specifically to enable our customers to take advantage of the latest mobile trends. Here are some of the highlights:

Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX)

CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi is a joint Cisco — Facebook solution for guest Wi-Fi. Read More »

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Christmas Packets: Web Browsing and the Festive Period

The web browsing behaviour of users changes as the end of the year approaches. The holiday season can provide a large distraction from work duties that may need to be managed. Equally, even during periods when the office is closed, there will be some individuals who cannot resist accessing work systems. Managing these changes in behaviour is difficult for network administrators unless they know what to expect.
Read More »

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New Shopping Experiences during the 2012 Holiday Season

Being a resident of San Francisco, one advantage of is the amount of shopping within walking distance.  This year several retailers timed their store openings and remodel to coincide with the holiday season shopping,  which is expected to grow 4.1 percent over last holiday season, according to National Retail Federation.

These retailers understand they are competing against “showrooming”  with E-commerce only retailers and consumer uncertainties over the economy.  Many have developed unique shopping experiences to attract customers  and here are some that stood out for me this holiday season before I head over to New York for the NRF 2013 Convention in January.

1. Uniqlo San Francisco

Uniqlo is a Japanese based international fashion retailer which opened its San Francisco store this October with great fanfare, including enlisting Japanese YouTube feline star Maru to promote their San Francisco store opening.

Some of the things that stood out for me at the store are:

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Happy holidays and a tease for 2012

So my end of year blog to machine builders, and the loyal followers from whatever company.

The model is changing. Think about how personal electronics have changed your life. Do you listen to a CD in  your car anymore? I remember back when I drove a “company car” but they allowed me to add things, and I added a 6 CD changer. It was in my trunk. This was in 1996. Do they even put CD changers in cars today? My wife just bought a new 4DSC, and ya know, there is no CD slot. So if we go for a trip I have to listen to her music. Fortunately we have a mesh.

So, huge changes in the music business model. Same for the book industry. Witness this: when we leave for a weekend I take my iPad. I have several books I want to read stored there. Are they on my iPad or the Cloud? I don’t care. I want them when I want them. And before today’s technology existed I would have needed to carry many different books with me. In my case today they are on my iPad, but tomorrow? Who knows? Can I get instant response from the cloud? I bet I can.

In the factory can you afford to ignore the cloud? You know your employees in the plant are going to be using devices that are far more advanced than what they have in the factory. Soon they will be suggesting that they can do “this” (whatever this is) better if they could only…. More on this topic early in 2012. Read More »

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