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IoT Tipping Point Propels Digital Experience Era

Call me an optimist.

We are fortunate today to watch the dawn of the Digital Experience era as the world becomes digitally more and more connected.

Consider that there are already 3 billion of us connected to the Internet. Imagine what the next 4 billion can help us do as they connect.

Even greater change could result as the everyday “things” around us – bus stops, parking spaces, and street lights – get connected. I’ve seen predictions that 20, 50, even over 200 billion more things will be connected in the next couple years. Just think of the tremendous possibilities that could result from that amount of connectivity and collaboration happening around this planet.

What’s rapidly unfolding before us is the Internet of Everything – the intelligent connection of people, process, data, and things. Studies show that the Internet of Everything can drive $19 trillion worth of economic benefit for this planet. To put that into perspective, that’s almost as large as the U.S. and China economies combined. What is your country’s, community’s, or business’ portion of that?

But what fuels my optimism are the social, cultural, and environmental benefits waiting on the horizon — if we accelerate and if we change. With more efficiency and less waste, we human beings can benefit, as can our planet.

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The Future of Cities is Here, and it’s Digital

What does your #CityofTomorrow look like? 

Over the past decades, broadband Internet access has been an important enabler of economic growth, social inclusion and improved government services. Now, the latest phase of the Internet—the Internet of Everything (IoE)—is transforming our lives in whole new ways.  The biggest impact of this change is happening in our cities.

At this year’s Cisco Live in San Francisco, there was a lot of discussion around the idea of digital cities. New ideas that combine smart phones, cloud applications, data processes with whole new classes of connected devices are reinventing city services and experiences. This is the Internet of Everything in action: transforming every aspect of a city, from utilities to public safety to transportation.

There are many examples today. The city of Santander in Spain has installed sensors to monitor traffic levels, noise pollution and lighting levels. Santander’s smart parking application has yielded an 80 percent reduction in downtown traffic congestion!  Cities around the world are using the Internet of Everything to reinvigorate urban centers just like the one in Santander, which can adapt to residents’ needs in real time.  These cities are discovering new opportunities for energy efficiency and seeing immediate returns on investments.

Another IoE twist is the Los Angeles police department project using data analytics to more rapidly spot crime in progress, via license plate readers on police cars. These readers, which are in use as officers conduct normal business, digitally scan tens of thousands of vehicles over the course of a single day. This means automatic notification of stolen vehicles to officers as they drive past on their routine patrol.

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Want to hear more? Cisco has teamed up with CNN to explore digital cities around the globe, just like Santander and L.A. The CNN “City of Tomorrow” looks at how cities are utilizing technology to improve our lives, diving into unique case studies with results happening today. Weekly editorials on CNN broadcast television and the City of Tomorrow hub showcase IoE examples happening around the world. Just as L.A. becomes a safer place to live, San Diego is able to increase the amount of available drinking water, and Seattle has created a completely green commercial building that leaves no carbon footprint. These are only a few examples of IoE in action; there are many more on the horizon. And you can learn about them all in this eight-week City of Tomorrow series. 

What you might not have realized is that the Internet of Everything is changing things in your city, too. How are you using the Internet of Everything today?

We want to know what examples of the Internet of Everything you see in your own City of Tomorrow – your neighborhood! Join the conversation online by tagging your photo and video examples with #InternetofEverything and #CityofTomorrow. How is the Internet of Everything changing your city? 

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Sustainable Cities & Technology: Insights & Final Thoughts from Meeting of the Minds 2012

I had the opportunity to attend Meeting of the Minds in San Francisco last week. It was an amazing event that brought together thought leaders from the world’s most innovative organizations to spotlight fresh ideas in urban connectivity and sustainability.

The emerging themes centered around innovation, leadership, and enabling connectivity. While there and after the first day of sessions, my team had the pleasure of catching up with Gordon Feller, director of the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) Public Sector Practice, Urban Innovations team and convenor and co-founder of Meeting of the Minds, to capture his insights. Check out the video:

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Transforming the World’s Largest Cities

For centuries, cities have generated most of humankind’s art, religion, culture, commerce, and technology. And while this trend is expected to continue, several challenges are emerging, including stress on aging public infrastructures, limited success of public-private partnerships, reduced budgets, and the loss of “brain power” to fast-growing suburban areas.

To revitalize the world’s largest cities, City24/7—a company committed to making public communications more accessible to everyone, everywhere—in collaboration with Cisco IBSG and the City of New York, has launched an interactive platform that integrates information from open government programs, local businesses, and citizens to provide meaningful and powerful knowledge anytime, anywhere, on any device. In short, City24/7 delivers the information people need to know, where and when it helps them most.

Located at bus stops, train stations, major entryways, shopping malls, and sports facilities, City24/7 Smart Screens incorporate touch, voice, and audio technology to deliver a wide array of hyper-local (about two square city blocks) information, services, and offerings in real time. The Smart Screens can also be accessed via Wi-Fi on nearby smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers.

The overarching goals of the City24/7 Smart Screens are to inform, protect, and revitalize. Read More »

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