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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?”

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Join us August 8th for Next-Generation Knowledge Workers TweetChat — #CiscoYourWay

When? Thursday, August 8, 2013 @ 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. (EDT)

Where? Twitter Chat

The explosive growth in mobility is transforming the ways in which we live, learn, play and, in particular, work. Every dimension of our business lives stands to change: whom we work with and when, where, how, and why we work — all will be impacted.

The ultimate goal of business mobility is to drive increased productivity, heightened customer experience, and harmonious work-life balance. Business mobility offers freedom for knowledge workers beleaguered by accelerating demands on their time and talents; with it, they can take control of their success at work while protecting their personal lives. And, increasingly, it is the knowledge workers themselves who are driving these sweeping changes in the workplace.

But how can service providers and enterprises embrace the disruption?

Join us this Thursday, August 8th at 10am PST/1pm EST for a TweetChat on how next-generation knowledge workers are accelerating the disruption in business mobility. Follow #CiscoYourWay to join in on the discussion. I’ll be tweeting from my own handle @Spain_Chris. Read More »

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What the British royals are teaching the rest of us about social: What companies can learn to do

Social media is quickly becoming ubiquitous in our lives — not only giving us news on our friends, but news of the day. We found out all about the recent birth of the newest heir to the British throne on social.

The royal baby is merely two weeks old and already doing a lot to bring the British Monarchy into the Internet age:  “The Twitter of tiny feet as William and Kate announce arrival online in historic first.”

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We’re also using social media to connect with current and potential customers. It’s no longer a question of should companies use it… but how. How does a business reach who it wants to reach, stay relevant, listen to what they’re saying, and help them influence others?  Read More »

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Video Usage & Young Executives: A Survey of Tomorrow’s Leaders

Gen Y has been a new breed of worker that transformed the business world from the moment they stepped through the door (in Converse and jeans, to boot).  They are idealistic and digitally savvy; they value meaningful work and social media freedom; they’re hungry for interaction and thirsty for acknowledgment.

Fast forward to 2013 … Gen Yers are rising through the ranks and entering into management roles. They are poised to transform the business world yet again, but this time they’ll be making changes from the top and leading the workplace with collaboration and mobile technologies that have already proven integral to their daily lives.

As a collaboration connoisseur myself, I was excited to check out the results of a survey Cisco released today about one of the primary tech tools young executives will use to lead their organizations – business-class video. Some of the notable findings from The “2013 Cisco Global Young Executives’ Video Attitudes”survey are:

Video Usage and Young Executives: a survey of tomorrow's leaders– Three out of five management-track Gen Y leaders will rely more heavily on business-class video during the next five-10 years.

– 87 percent of respondents stated that a company’s video investment would significantly impact their decision when considering job offers.

94 percent of those organizations with less than 400 employees value video as a way to break down language barriers in the increasingly global marketplace

 

This doesn’t surprise me at all Read More »

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