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Driving to work in Internet of Everything

Recently Ford celebrated the success of the SYNC® system with its 10-Millionth SYNC equipped vehicle. For those who don’t know what the Ford SYNC system is, head over to the Ford Technology page and get yourself educated. What’s important about this milestone is the fact car connectivity has reached critical mass.  This milestone really is a building block that will pave the way for a fully connected vehicle experience with IOE (Internet of Everything).  Doug VanDagens, global director of connected services solutions for Ford Motor Company is quoted by saying “It’s our goal to turn the connected vehicle into an intelligent vehicle.”  Let’s imagine for a minute the possibilities.

Drive To Work

You leave the house for work, get into your vehicle and turn it on.  Immediately your NEST thermostat knows you are leaving the house and turns your thermostat to “Away” mode. As you’re driving to work your vehicle reroutes you automatically as there is an accident 5 KM ahead.  While on your re-routed course you come across a Tim Horton’s and know you just gotta grab a Double-Double coffee.  Read More »

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My Weekend and the Internet of Everything

What would an “Internet of Everything” weekend look like was my question earlier this month as I sat there eating breakfast before going into battle later that day. Today’s meal was critical fuel for my next round of matches in a Masters Squash Tournament. The pressure was on because members of my family were coming to watch me later that day and winning was the only option!

Fiat Cockpit, herbert

I turned back to my breakfast and the environment around me and noticed that the people in the Bistro virtually all had smartphones. Their devices were either in use or sitting on the table as if they were part of the place setting right beside the eating utensils. I looked down at my smartphone and the black screen and began to think differently about what the phone could and should do that would change my weekend experience. Read More »

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3.9 Million and the IOE

November 20, 2013 at 6:00 pm PST

If I told you there’s something all around us that, if connected, could significantly help reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, reduce pollution on a massive scale, reduce the amount of time we spend in our cars, make entire cities smarter and contribute to an overall improvement of peoples’ physical and mental health all at the same time, would you ask why we’re not already doing everything we can to harness its potential?

There are approximately 3.9 million miles of road in the US today, and while there are large stretches of road that don’t suffer from constant traffic, connecting high-traffic, urban roads to the IoE could accomplish all of the above. While we’re connecting roads, we can coat the surface with photosensitive material in the tar/asphalt mixture that would use sunlight to produce energy to power streetlights and much more!

Intersection

With connected roads, traffic lights can dynamically shift their sequences to allow for an optimal flow of traffic, while cars can truly drive autonomously making commutes more like riding a train and roads safer for pedestrians, cyclists and passengers alike. Read More »

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Can the IoE Revolutionize Alternative Medicine?

November 1, 2013 at 11:35 am PST

The other week I found myself chatting with a fellow healthcare (and Cisco) enthusiast on Twitter about alternative medicine and I experienced an Aha! moment – alternative medicine may soon have an entirely new face if it’s driven by consumer adoption of advanced (and in many cases, currently available) technologies.

@petra1400

Let me explain. I recently wrote a post about the true price of affordable healthcare, which focused on the innovative technologies that will help make healthcare more efficient overall by incorporating dynamic monitoring techniques as a means of prophylactic care. When I wrote that post, I didn’t realize I was actually describing a new age of alternative medicine!

When most of us think of alternative medicine (myself included), we initially associate it with traditional homeopathic remedies and elements from Eastern medicine like acupuncture and herbal therapies. Read More »

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Los Angeles Unified School District – Hack the iPads!

October 23, 2013 at 2:10 pm PST

It didn’t take long, but soon after the Los Angeles Unified School District began their rollout of some 650,000 iPads to their students, they ran into some technical issues. Students in at least one of LAUSD’s high schools quickly discovered a way to bypass the security on the devices. Still in Phase 1 of the program, only 15,000 of the devices have been given to students, but already the District has suspended home use of the iPads due to the security issues. According to reports, LAUSD had been using software that “lets school district officials know where the iPads are, and what the students are doing with them at all times. This software also lets the district block certain sites, such as social media favorites like Facebook.” There are now questions circulating around whether the LAUSD staff was well prepared for these devices and their implementation, and what is going to be done moving forward to continue the rollout and secure the iPads.

student using mobile device

In my previous article I wrote about how educational staff need to be prepared to properly utilize iPads in their classroom. IT staff responsible for managing these iPads should also receive the proper training and preparation. What’s interesting to note here is that, at least in my experience, Apple’s stance on iPads in education is generally fairly hands-off. They recommend managing or locking down the iPads as little as possible. The idea here is that these are best served as single user devices and the best experience for the student is full ownership and manageability of the iPad out of the box. iPads aren’t meant to be used like a rolling cart of laptops going from room to room. They don’t support user profiles and managing or locking down the iPads introduces more complexity than is needed.

You want to protect the investment in these devices from theft, and prevent students from accessing inappropriate content, but if you are planning on allowing the students to take these devices home, you can only go so far. As evidenced from the LAUSD issue, students quickly discovered the iPads were so locked down they couldn’t use them at home, so they found a way to delete the configuration profiles which essentially removed any of the locks or restrictions on the iPad. Some students even went so far as to offer ‘unlocking’ service for $2. Quite the entrepreneurial spirit!

Now, it’s a daunting task for any IT department of any size to introduce over half a million new devices under your umbrella of responsibility. Add to this, that depending on the MDM solution chosen, each of these iPads have to be unboxed and configured before being handed to a student. Now, when something goes wrong they have to be collected, and reconfigured. It stands to reason that Phase 1 will remain a trial phase until some of these issues are worked out. Read More »

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