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Evolving Millennial Connections Using Wearables

Don’t look now, but that guy’s app just measured his heartbeat when he saw you and we think it’s a match! Sound far-fetched? Well, it’s not.

In a very interesting (and possibly draining) year-long dating social experiment, a Newsweek contributor discovered that finding love has gone beyond reviewing online profiles, as some of the industry’s largest match-making companies are developing “wearables” and apps that are becoming the newest weapon in match-making. Utilizing everything from musical playlists to physiological reactions (like that racing heartbeat) the apps match daters in close vicinity with similar-minded interests. Not surprisingly, millennials are becoming some of the fastest adopters of the wearables movement.

In a recent survey, more than half of millennials revealed they were excited about the growth of the wearables market. And it’s no wonder, considering the fact that overall, millennials are an extremely connected and influential generation. They’ve grown up in a world where smartphones are the norm, social media apps are preferred communication platforms and an untold number of studies have been conducted on best practices for marketing to them. And the lens from which they view technology – as an expected day-to-day necessity – is part of the reason they’re the power behind the growing widespread adoption of wearable technology.

As the Internet of Everything continues to evolve and connect more people, process, data and things, wearable technology is not only delivering more information to us – but also bringing us all closer together. Holidays like Valentine’s Day are the perfect reminder that connections matter and go to the heart of who we are as people. Considering our natural inclination to seek out meaningful connections and the technology we have on-hand, wearables are on trend to become an invaluable networking tool, empowering an entire new level of collaboration and opportunities between employees, clients and business leaders.

According to the Cisco 2014 Connected World Technology Report, millennials believe a wearable device will be an important part of workplace 2020. Indeed, it’s estimated more than 177 million wearable devices will be in use by 2018. With a smart phone in one hand, and perhaps a fitness tracker attached to their wrist, mobility is an essential part of the millennial lifestyle. In other words, they are data-driven and businesses the world over have taken a new look at everything from their recruiting practices (using Skype for interviews) to mobile-office options to recruit and keep millennial talent on board. Companies who have embraced a holistic approach to mobility are moving in the right direction, as the millennial workforce shuns the idea of carrying multiple devices to perform work-related tasks.

A couple of years ago, I talked about a connected workforce, focusing specifically on millennials and how their perspective, as the newest generation of workers, would alter the employment scene as we know it. I’m by no means a fortune teller, but myself and the entire industry have seen this become reality. Through the tools of the Internet of Everything – wearables among them – millennials are empowered to connect with people who they have never had the chance to meet and learn from. These connections and the cross-sharing of ideas, goals and common experiences are opening up a new world of opportunity as the world changes and our connections evolve.

What type of new experiences and opportunities for wearables do you hope to see in the future? Share your thoughts here and be sure to follow the discussion using #Internet of Everything.

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From the Last Traffic Jam to the Last “Business Jam”

When I’m stuck in one of Silicon Valley’s many traffic jams, my frustration level rises as rapidly as my speedometer slows down. I think about how the digital synchronization of highways, vehicles and traffic lights could unclog congestion, lower pollution, eliminate delays and significantly reduce our collective frustration levels.

Just a little digital automation could go a long way to reduce not only traffic and accidents but also time, gas, smog and the costs of road and car repairs. Not to mention, helping us all attain a much more sustainable environment.

So when I’m stuck like this in traffic, whether at home or internationally, my thoughts turn to how we can get to the Last Traffic Jam.

The answer is a more connected world—or the Internet of Everything. It’s how we’ll change the way we live, work, play, and learn. This has been Cisco’s goal for 30 years, and today we have an unprecedented opportunity, along with our partners, to transform our world for the better

And that includes eliminating traffic headaches.

Studies show that for every minute spent clearing an accident from a road, there is a four-minute delay to get traffic moving again. And it’s not just delays. Today, traffic congestion costs Americans alone more than $124 billion a year. By 2030, experts predict the average American household will spend 33 percent more in traffic-related costs than today and the annual price of traffic in the United States and Europe could rise nearly 50 percent from today’s costs.

Want to know more? Here are some insights on the Last Traffic Jam.

Today, we are already connecting roadways, cars, drivers, traffic lights, parking spaces, public transportation and commercial traffic. The early results show dramatic improvement in traffic flows, fewer roadside incidents, and lower transportation costs. And one day this all will lead to the Last Traffic Jam.

This is happening by connecting disparate intelligent transportation systems to provide a centralized view of highway systems, including road conditions, traffic, construction, and transit information. Connected roadways and connected cities, are improving decision-making while reducing operating and maintenance costs.

I believe the “beginning of the end” has started. Cities around the world are getting connected.

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Let’s Talk Firsts and Lasts

For 30 years, we’ve been helping change the way people work, live, play, and learn. During this time, our world has advanced faster than ever.

It seems like yesterday when we saw the introduction of the Macintosh, the first-ever consumer machine with a mouse and graphical interface. Then, just two years later in 1986, Cisco introduced the Advanced Gateway Server, or AGS.

This breakthrough multiprotocol router became the foundation for moving traffic across networks. In 1990, researcher Tim Berners-Lee developed HTML—the official language of the World Wide Web and the spark to make the Internet mainstream.

Today, it’s hard to remember life before the Internet. The industry has come a long way, and so have we.

We owe our founding to Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner, two former Stanford University computer technologists, who set Cisco on an incredible journey as a networking and Internet pioneer.

In 1995, less than 1 percent of the world’s population connected on the Internet. Today, more than 40 percent connect online.

We’ve seen businesses transformed and economies modernized. The way we buy and sell products has changed—so has their design, production, and distribution. It’s as if no industry has been untouched.

In the next 30 years and beyond, we’ll see everything become connected—people, process, data, and things. This will expand our understanding of the world and the experiences we have, and we’ll generate new ideas and discover new solutions.

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Dubai: A Smart City of Rapid Technology Transformations

During my recent trip in Dubai, I had the pleasure of experiencing both the personal and climactic warmth of this extremely modern smart city. Known for building the world’s tallest structure, the Burj Khalifa, Dubai also has emerged as a global business, financial and transportation hub in the Persian Gulf leveraging advanced networked technologies. The pace of accelerated transformation here never ceases to amaze me.

Dubai and the country of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continue to set ambitious goals and then achieve them. Dubai has among the most efficient and busiest airports, longest metro transit systems, advanced road-tolls and highly digitized, smart government services underpinned by advanced broadband and mobile networks.

After meeting with local government and business leaders, I am not surprised about these rapid achievements. Public and private sector leaders here exude energy, enthusiasm and hospitality – and they know how to be decisive with timelines!

I am very excited that while here we were able to confirm with local officials the dates and venue for next year’s Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF) in Dubai. We will be announcing that information soon. Bringing together IoT and Internet of Everything (IoE) industry leaders IoTWF is the ideal setting for thought leadership around the most significant advance in the history of technology – the connection of people, processes, data and things.

Business, government and other thought leaders I talked with in Dubai all recognized the value that can be captured from connecting the unconnected. Cisco Consulting Services calculates that the UAE can realize $53 billion of economic value over the next decade, and Dubai about $5 billion in the next five years by leveraging IoE-based solutions that digitize everything from buildings and transportation to energy and outdoor lighting.

We are very excited to be joining Dubai and the UAE on this journey of rapid growth and transformation.

This recent trip also extended into Saudi Arabia where leaders also are embracing the Inernet of Everything. For more, please click here.

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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Smart Connections

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the largest economy in the Middle East, is universally recognized as the world’s largest producer and exporter of petroleum. In recent years, however, it has emerged as a visionary leader in leveraging networked technology, especially in developing a number of Smart City projects to attract business while controlling sprawl and congestion.

Cisco Consulting Services estimates that KSA alone can gain about $84 billion of total economic value from the Internet of Everything, which is the connection of people, processes, data and things. Nearly $16 billion of this is in the public sector, with profitability, cost savings and enhanced experiences coming from urban services such as smart street lighting, smart traffic management, mobile collaboration, chronic disease control, connected learning and healthcare, to name a few.

Globally, Cisco sees a total $19 trillion opportunity for both the public and private sectors. 

Last week, I revisited Saudi Arabia for the 16th time in five years and saw first-hand its progress in developing Smart Cities, or what we at Cisco call, Smart + Connected Communities. I had the honor of participating in the Cityquest KAEC Forum, jointly organized by the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) and New Cities Foundation, which assembled global thought leaders in some of the most advanced Smart City projects.

I had the pleasure of participating in an enthusiastic panel discussion on local and global urban innovations made possible by “Connecting Through Technology,” moderated by Andrew Sewer, journalist and former managing editor of Fortune Magazine.

As reported in The Arab News, Abdullatif A. Al-Othman, governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), kicked off the conference by emphasizing that public sector investments to diversify the economy are “… the most promising and significant in terms of job creation, technology transfer and exports development,” pointing to KAEC as a prime example.

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