In my role as Cisco’s Chief Futurist, I get many questions about what the future holds and how new technology and emerging solutions will change our lives. Given the positive feedback and the volume of questions being submitted from the community around the first series, I’ve decided to do another series to answer questions from the education and tech community around the Internet of Everything (IoE). Whether the questions are global in scope, such as how the Internet of Everything will shape our world, or small in nature, like today’s Ask the #IoE Futurist question about batteries, I enjoy the challenge of answering them all.
It’s true what most school teachers say, “There is no such thing as a bad question.”
In fact, when it comes to questioning what the future of technology looks like, the ideas from Malcolm Gladwell’s famous book, The Tipping Point, come to life.
Gladwell states that a tipping point is when a small idea, technology or trend crosses a threshold and “spreads like wildfire.” Today, we are witnessing a tipping point in technology innovation that is representative of small innovations that have a compounding effect on society. Microscopic sensors, tiny wearable mobile devices, miniscule packets of energy, and even an AA battery have the potential to impact future innovation and what it means to be connected.
In this post, I’ll answer a question from Chad, a student of Cisco Champion Karen Woodard, about how specifically new developments in battery technology could impact new solutions. Here is Chad’s question:
Question: “Will the future of battery technology prohibit the advancement of computers or technology in general?”
Wireless momentum continues worldwide and mobile data traffic expected to increase nearly 11-fold
Today, Cisco released its latest Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Forecast, 2013-2018, projecting future mobile data traffic over cellular networks (2G, 3G, or 4G) and wi-fi off-load traffic. Our detailed research, including region-specific and some country-specific data, can be found in our complete white paper. Highlighted below for your convenience are some of the key takeaways.
As we continue to progress toward an Internet of Everything (IoE) digital world, organizations will need to think strategically about IT budgets and smart spending in order to keep pace with the changing landscape. CEO’s want a flexible, adaptable enterprise, and IT needs to deliver “fast IT” for them to achieve that.
One part of this rapidly changing landscape is the rise of something Gartner calls the “Digital Industrial Economy.” Gartner SVP Peter Sondergaard said recently at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo that the digital industrial economy will be built on the foundations of cloud integration, social collaboration, mobile, and data. As part of this, worldwide IT spending will reach $3.8 trillion by 2014.
The main notion of the Digital Industrial Economy is that every company will become a technology company, every budget will become an IT budget and every business will become a digital leader. By this definition, it’s clear that the Internet of Everything—and the $14.4 trillion in value it will unleash—is at that the heart of this new economic model.
One of the most visible forms of the Internet of Everything (IoE), at least from a consumer’s perspective, is the advent of wearables, a term for wearable computing devices. The full range of this new form factor for mobile devices is very wide and I would like to define wearables as electronic systems located on the body that mediate their user and their environment. From activity trackers like FitBit and Up by JawBone and other quantified self applications, to more advanced information devices like Google Glass and Samsung Smartgear, these first generation devices are always on and always connected. Next generation devices will also be contextual and intelligent thanks to the Internet of Everything’s convergence of people, devices, data and the web.
Computing devices have moved from our desktop to our lap, to our pocket and now onto our body. Technology has never been this personal, however, we are far from the wearables endgame. For wearables to truly become a useful addition to our already technology-filled lives, we need to get back to the basics. Here’s a brief look at three ways we can evolve wearables by thinking about the technology itself, our interaction with these devices and the value they should offer.
For as long as I remember, robots have always been cool. Perhaps it’s my passion for all things futuristic, but I don’t think I am alone in saying robots have provided a glimpse of what could be possible. Looking at today’s Internet of Everything (IoE) world, robots have advanced from the 1950s tin wind-up toy robots and the affable C-3P0 and R2-D2 from George Lucas’s Star Wars, to emerging technology that has the potential to improve our lives and increase shared connections.
Today’s “Ask the Futurist” question is focused on how robotic technology and its supporting networks will evolve over time. Here’s the question from William Maguire, a wireless engineer.
Question: “How do you think mesh networking will affect robotics in the next 20 years?”