To cross a busy intersection safely, it’s best to have all of your senses alert. That way, if you don’t happen to see that oncoming truck ignoring the “Walk” sign, you will probably still hear it. In the case of a heavy cement mixer, you may even feel the low rumble of its powerful engine first.
In the Internet of Everything (IoE), a similar principle applies. We call it “sensor fusion,” and it involves combining two or more sensors — often of different types — to monitor a specific environment and offer actionable insights more intelligently. These could be cameras and Wi-Fi tags or weight-sensing shelves and ultrasonic imaging, to name just two combinations. Moreover, the combined sensor data can itself be fused with other information streams — for example, those relating to weather, operations, news, or social media.
The result? Highly informed, real-time decision making and richer customer experiences.
Until recently, sensor fusion has been mostly exploited in specialized devices such as robots, but it is now driving a revolution in enterprise systems. This will bring new life to entire industries and completely transform stores, manufacturing floors, and transportation corridors. By greatly improving the accuracy of their measurements, organizations will be able to offer rich new experiences and gain substantial competitive advantage.
What does an already innovative company like Cisco do more to innovate? What do we need to do differently to influence or shape the next breakthrough that will fundamentally change our industry and Cisco? As we embark on a journey to transform Cisco into a #1 IT solution provider, we know we must innovate more and faster – and spot the next industry-shaping change before it catches our industry off-guard.
We believe one of the key strategies for reinventing innovation at Cisco is to embrace openness. Open innovation is a concept developed and evangelized by leading organizational experts, including Dr. Henry Chesbrough, the Executive Director of the Program in Open Innovation at UC Berkeley. It focuses on how organizations can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas – and internal and external paths to market1. Open innovation enables us to stay abreast of and shape the next big change that is going to impact Cisco and our industry.
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 our most recent Ask the #IoE Futurist question about batteries or today’s question about the smartphone becoming superfluous, I enjoy the challenge of answering them all.
A few weeks ago, brand new smartphones and wearable smartgear products were unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. While many of the specs and capabilities of these emerging devices vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, they all represent a common theme: mobile devices are not only becoming more present in our daily lives, but also changing how we connect, interact and share experiences.
As the Internet of Everything (IoE) drives more connected things, data, people and processes, how will the future of smartphones evolve? Will the endless possibilities for connected cars, shoes and dishwashers mean that the smartphone becomes one extra device for us to carry?
In this Ask the #IoE Futurist post, I’ll answer a question from John Spade (@DaSpadeR), a Cisco Champion, about how smartphones might change in an IoE world. Here is John’s question:
Question: “The smartphone lets us bring the Internet with us, but in the Internet of Everything, will the smartphone itself become superfluous?”
Since Henry Ford, the alchemy of turning raw materials into mass-produced products has been complicated and challenging. At best, it has been a delicate and precarious balancing act; at worst, something akin to herding cats.
The trick has always been to align ever-shifting patterns of customer demand with far-flung ecosystems of miners, designers, suppliers, engineers, factory workers, truck drivers, sellers, and so forth. Yet the process of orchestrating such intricate value chains has often been based on art (hunches) more than science (data).
Today, however, the Internet of Everything (IoE) — the ongoing explosion in networked connectivity among people, process, data, and things — is transforming manufacturing in startling ways, just as it is changing so many other industries.
IoE delivers seamless, intelligent connections to every corner of the manufacturing value chain, optimizing the flow of products, information, and payments in real time.
The Cisco IoE Value Index study found that in 2013, manufacturing had the largest potential share of IoE Value at Stake, at $224 billion. Yet, it was poised to realize only 46 percent of that potential bottom-line value. The key to closing that gap lies in much-improved machine-to-machine and machine-to-people connections, resulting in smart factories, smart grids, and connected supply chains, among many other IoE-related innovations.
This week marks the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web, an important milestone as we look at how far we’ve come and how the Internet of Everything (IoE) is shaping our future.
Developed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a researcher at CERN, the Web was borne from the need to keep track of complex, large-scale projects without the loss of important information. We’ve come a long ways since March 1989, when Berners-Lee published his idea of “linked information systems.”
Today, IoE is driving connections beyond just data. The convergence of connecting people, things, data and processes is transforming organizations, industries and our lives. The growth of mobility and cloud computing is further driving innovation and an increase in the number and kinds of connections.
To illustrate this transformation, let’s take a quick look at life just two decades ago. According to a new national survey to mark the 25th anniversary of the Web, Pew Research revealed that in 1995, 42 percent of U.S. adults had never heard of the Internet and an additional 21 percent were vague on the concept—they knew it had something to do with computers and that was about it. In addition, 20 years ago, only 14 percent had access to the Internet.