Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > Innovation

Where is Technology Innovation Heading?

Today, in universities around the world, leading professors are looking for top notch PhD students and researchers to push the boundaries and explore areas that will enable tomorrow’s technology innovation. To have a preview of what the future could look like, we at Cisco asked 60 leading academic professors in Electrical Engineering (EE) and Computer Science (CS) in 25 top universities worldwide the following question: “What areas of research will you be focusing on going forward?”.

Here are 4 things, which we learned from their passionate and fascinating answers:

Moore Law

#1 – The Pending End of Moore’s Law 

The Interviewed Professors generally see Moore’s law coming to an end in the next 5-10 years (predictions of the end of the law are almost as old as the law itself…). It looks like smaller transistors can still be developed but at a high cost. Although not really about physical limits, but rather an economic issue, significant research is taking place to find alternative improvement mechanisms beyond reducing size. For example, replacing signal wires with optical signals, increasing energy efficiency, or using smarter data processing allocation between devices and the cloud.

#2: Research is Focusing on 4 Areas

The vast majority of research taking place at the top university institutions in Electrical Engineering (EE) and Computer Science (CS) falls into one of the following four areas:  

  1. Artificial intelligence: deep learning, mining of unstructured data, multi-agent communication, autonomous vehicles, robotics, human-computer interface, computer vision. 
  2. Process optimisation: software & systems engineering, processor improvements, power engineering, hardware improvement. 
  3. Cloud computing and networking: wireless communication, network engineering, software-defined networks, internet of things.
  4. Computer and information security: cryptography & encryption, network security, mobile security

#3 – Technology is Proliferating 

With the advent of the Internet of Things resulting in a growing number of connected devices impacting our life, technology is becoming increasingly embedded in society. Technologies such as big data and machine learning are in reality already playing a massive role (sometimes behind the scenes). Research will continue to drive improvements in Human-Computer Interfaces, creating new technologies that will increasingly co-exist with legacy, human controlled systems. As IT technology spills over into distant domains, it continuously expands the innovation boundaries of other industries such as healthcare and transportation.

#4 – Interdisciplinary Research is Key

Where is technology innovation heading?In many cases professors indicated that the key to unlocking the potential of technology applications is in combining research with other disciplines such as neuroscience, mechanical engineering, and social sciences. Professors also highlighted the difficulty in obtaining funding for such cross-disciplinary projects, because funding mechanisms usually expect proposed projects to fit into specific disciplines. 

In the following weeks, we will explore in more detail some of the themes that are emerging from this survey hopefully giving you out of the box ideas about the future they could potentially unlock.

Tags: , , , , ,

Who Will Be the Winners in the IoT Revolution?

Every new technology revolution creates new technology company powerhouses and relegates others to the ashes of history. The PC revolution gave us the likes of Microsoft and Intel, the Internet revolution created companies like Cisco, Google, and Amazon, and lately the mobile revolution has created market giants like Apple, Samsung and Facebook.

Guy using technology outside

We are in the early days of another transformative technology revolution – The Internet of Things. Connected everything to everything in a smart, data-rich world will fundamentally transform Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

10 Predictions for the Future of the Internet of Things

We are in the early days of another transformative technology revolution. Wired magazine described a new era where “the most mundane items in our lives can talk wirelessly among themselves, performing tasks on command, giving us data we’ve never had before.” The Internet of Things (IoT) is a world where up to 50 billion things (or devices) will be connected to the Internet by 2020; or, the equivalent of 6 devices for every person on the planet.

We are already starting to see the emergence of smart cities, connected utilities, connected railways, connected factories, connected cars, and even connected mines, to name but a few. The Internet of Things will fundamentally transform businesses, generate enormous economic wealth and create immeasurable social value.

What does the future have in store for IoT? The following are my ten predictions Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

IoE and the Shape of Things to Come

“May you live in interesting times,” the old saying goes. With its explosion in intelligent connections, the Internet of Everything makes this one of the most exciting times to be alive — ever.

But you already knew that.

The real fun begins when we consider that as dynamic as technology change appears to be in 2015, this is only the beginning. Mobility, video, analytics, and other technologies have already transformed our jobs, our home lives, the ways we socialize, access entertainment, you name it. But now IoE is accelerating change at an even faster rate as people, culture, innovation, technology, get added to the mix.

With that in mind, let’s explore some key predictions to see where I believe IoE will take us in the next ten years or so.

The way I see it, IoE will drive an unparalleled level of social and business consciousness, as the Internet evolves far beyond its current state and limitations. This transformation will center on three core capabilities to be Hyperaware, Predictive, and Agile.

Top Predictions for the Internet of Everything Era from Joseph M Bradley

Hyperaware Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 Predictions for the Future of Wi-Fi and Mobility

The close of every year brings startling headlines that herald the continued meteoric rise of mobility. This past year was no exception. The 2014 announcement that there are now more mobile subscribers than inhabitants on the planet exemplified the mobile zeitgeist and its importance in our daily lives.

But, the big mobile news in 2014 was around Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi continues to blanket the world, with iPass estimating that the number of public hotspots will increase almost 8-fold over the next four years to cover 1 out of every 20 people on the planet. And, Wi-Fi is becoming more like the mobile cellular experience. The seamless authentication and experience promised by Hotspot 2.0 is now available, with Time Warner and others announcing last year that they would roll it out across their entire Wi-Fi networks. And, we can now roam to other international Wi-Fi networks, like we do on cellular, with Comcast and Liberty Global, and other providers, announcing global roaming agreements. And, 2014 saw mobile operators beginning to embrace Wi-Fi in a big way. T-Mobile USA began shipping wireless routers to provide five bars coverage at home by allowing customers to make calls over Wi-Fi instead of the mobile network.

Of all the 2014 Wi-Fi activities, perhaps the biggest event was Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,