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Connecting Windshield Wipers to Weather Forecasts with The Weather Channel

Bryson Koehler, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at The Weather Channel, shares his perspective on The Weather Channel and the Internet of Everything.

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Did you know that the weather affects about 35 percent of the world’s gross domestic product, every day? And, as you might guess, humans make decisions every day that are completely based on the weather. Weather is the most primal decision making factor to everything we do. Just as a person’s demeanor can change if it’s raining or sunny, business decisions and outcomes can change in the same manner. The more information we have about the weather, the smarter we can be. So we, at The Weather Channel, have been utilizing the Internet of Everything to gather and analyze data and assist businesses, cities and everyday consumers like you and me.

The Internet of Everything has changed the game of what our teams at The Weather Channel can do. While our company began as a 24-hour network devoted to weather programming, we have adapted a number of innovations over the years, and today have become a tech-led media company. We’ve grown from providing accurate forecasts for 2.2 million locations, four times an hour, to forecasting 2.8 billion locations, 15 times an hour. With the IoE we have been able to bring weather information to people across the world, giving them the information they need when they most need it.  As a CIO, I try to unleash innovation. The more our technology tools can work autonomously of us, the more we can focus on our output and what they can do to impact our everyday lives.

Moving our forecasting platform to the cloud enabled more scalability and flexibility with our computing platform. This not only improved our processes, but it enhanced the data we gather. By embracing the new technology of the Internet of Everything, we have created a system that is unmatched when it comes to closely analyzing atmospheric data. The Weather Channel can now dig deeper and pin point the weather of a specific city, street corner or even a singular home address.

To further improve our data and weather models, we utilize state-of-the-art sensors to evaluate specific weather conditions. For example, phones like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Apple iPhone 6 have imbedded pressure sensors, as do things like windshield wipers. All of these allow us to analyze storm systems, humidity levels and weather patterns in real time in any given area. Internet of Everything-enabled devices like those sensors allow us to continue to work to keep local residents informed and safe. The faster we can receive and interrupt data about a storm, the quicker we can inform local citizens of impending danger.

It’s not just local residents that we can assist when we spot an incoming storm, either. We can provide insurance companies in advance with information about the storms that will affect their policyholders, so they can send out proactive alerts. Say 50% of the people who receive an alert about an impending hailstorm, for example, will put their cars inside. That can save insurance companies money by limiting the number of payouts and makes policyholders happier with their choice of insurance company.

From hailstorms to sunny days, we can simultaneously improve businesses’ understanding of their customers’ behavior. Businesses that use weather trends can better predict spending patterns for their specific area. For example, we know that 34 degrees in Miami is an entirely different beer sales weekend than 34 degrees in Chicago. What drives a company’s product consumption? It could be humidity. It could be wind. It could be cloud coverage. Through the data we are collecting, we can provide businesses with the insights they need to understand how weather is driving consumer behaviors, both in real time and ahead of time.

At the end of the day, innovation requires risk. At The Weather Company, we have taken those risks and evolved from a cable network into a technology-led media company. Using Cisco’s technology and the Internet of Everything, the data we can collect lets us deliver so much more than a basic weather forecast.

How does the weather impact your business? How can the Internet of Everything help? Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #InternetOfEverything.

Read more  #InternetofEverything Perspectives

Transforming Property Management with IoE by Roger Vasquez– Director of Engineering of Transwestern

Integrating Cities with IoE and City24/7 by Tom Touchet -- CEO of City24/7

Driving Smarter with Technology and UPS by Dave Barnes – CIO of UPS

 

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The Internet of Everything: New Job Roles, New Education Required

****This article has been updated to remove a factoid discussing IoE and manufacturing job growth.****

We have entered the world of the Internet of Everything (IoE)—a world that brings people, data, processes and things together into a vast web of connectivity. From wearable devices that monitor our vital statistics to household appliances that anticipate our needs to smart cars that detect traffic jams and automatically re-route our journeys, the IoE represents an increasingly digital and mobile world that promises to improve our lives.

Twenty-five billion devices will be connected by next year, and that number will grow to 50 billion by 2020. All of this new data that the IoE generates will change the job landscape forever.  These are exciting developments with unprecedented potential, but the rapidly expanding IoE requires specialized skill sets that don’t yet exist, resulting in a critical talent gap. Read More »

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The #InternetOfEverything Machine and What it Means to the World

Typically art and technology make strange bedfellows. But the Internet of Everything Machine at Cisco Live San Francisco in June was undeniably one of the coolest interactive installations I’ve seen at a conference. The exhibit simulated an attendee’s journey through a city connected by real-time data, so each visitor got a unique and personalized digital city experience. More importantly, it demonstrated how the Internet of Everything will help a city run more efficiently and the positive impact that can have on citizens.

From streetlights that turn themselves off to save energy and recycling bins that communicate when they’re full, to self-adjusting traffic lights that prevent traffic jams and smart luggage that tracks itself – the possibilities are endless.

The Internet of Everything Machine was a temporary exhibit at Cisco Live, but the Internet of Everything is becoming our reality. While it is certain to shape our future, it’s also in action today. The Internet of Everything (IoE) is not a tangible item. Rather, it is the connections between people, process, data and things that create more valuable and relevant experiences than any of us could have ever imagined before.

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Many elements that make up the Internet of Everything are not new and each can function independently. But, the true power of the Internet of Everything lies in all of them working together to create richer experiences and economic opportunities for everyone – businesses, individuals and even countries.

For example, a recent economic analysis estimates the Internet of Everything represents a $19 trillion opportunity for public and private sector organizations over the next decade. This occurs from cost savings, productivity gains, new revenue and improved citizen, worker and consumer experiences.

The Internet of Everything makes our everyday lives more convenient. Our ability to make payments from our smart devices, a store associate using a hand-held device to expedite checkouts and even one day riding in a self-driving car are all innovations made possible by the Internet of Everything.

The Internet of Everything Machine gave Cisco Live attendees a glimpse into a concept city that could run seamlessly with the Internet of Everything. And all over the world, corporations, municipal agencies and individuals have used it to improve their operations and even their health:

  • In Dubai, one of the world’s fastest-growing and cosmopolitan cities, cranes that swing too close to one another are halted by an Internet-connected system, safeguarding a network of 37 cranes and 5,000 workers near the world’s tallest buildings.
  • Though many of its operations take place deep inside mountains, Dundee Precious Metals utilizes WiFi-enabled vehicles, haulers and crushers and above-ground command centers to capture real-time data, resulting in a cost-savings of $2.5 million and production increase of 400%.
  • Wearables have made great strides in improving healthcare and have the potential to save lives when seconds count. Already, 21% of Americans use wearable devices to help track health data. What’s even more exciting for the medical field and patient care is that wearables can be outfitted with technology that allows them to communicate with doctors and other healthcare professionals directly. A Band-Aid that indicates if a wound is healed, skin patch wireless blood glucose monitors and systems that sound an alert when it’s time to refill a prescription are all possible through the Internet of Everything.
  • New York, a burgeoning “Smart City” has partnered with City 24x7 to make public communications available to anyone, anytime, anywhere with their Smart Screens. These screens are interactive and highly-visible in area train stations, malls and sport facilities and transmit offers, services and area information in real-time. And, they can be accessed via smartphones, tablets and laptops!

Through these few examples it’s easy to see that the Internet of Everything’s societal and enterprise advances are making a real impact. The Internet of Everything is changing everything about the way we live and the ways we can live. There will be challenges, but as John Chambers noted, overcoming them will take precedence, because the benefits are far too great to ignore.

Dream big – what are some of the innovations you’d like to see the Internet of Everything make possible? What does your City of Tomorrow look like? 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.

Be sure to follow @CiscoIoE on Twitter and join the conversation, #InternetOfEverything and #CityOfTomorrow.

Additional resources:

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IoE Can Be Key to More Energy Efficient Colleges

July 28, 2014 at 12:58 pm PST

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is becoming more real than ever, particularly in education. As we begin to see this massive transformation taking place, schools for both K-12 and higher education are utilizing Cisco networks to run applications and pilot projects that benefit both the students and the faculty.  We expect to see more and more of these examples in education, specifically, as schools, colleges, and universities find new and different ways to leverage these technologies.

Schools and colleges have proven that initiatives around Bring Your own Device (BYOD) and Connected Learning are part of the bigger picture when connecting people, process, data and things. But what may not immediately come to mind is that IoE can drive energy efficiency for colleges.

On Tuesday, July 22, journalists and analysts heard from Chicago-based leaders in local government, public safety and education about the impact of IoE in public sector during Cisco’s two-day IoE and Innovation event held in the Windy City. Read More »

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#InnovateThink Tweet Chat on Friday, July 18 at 10 a.m. PST: Fast IT: An IT Model for the #InternetOfEverything

As the Internet of Everything (IoE) continues to drive one of the most sweeping market transitions in history, organizations will need to be hyper-aware, predictive, and agile. And IT will demand an infrastructure that is flexible enough to keep pace with rapid change and fast innovation, as it responds dynamically to ever-rising threat levels. Above all, it must support business leaders looking to capture their share of the $19 trillion in IoE-related value at stake.

But a rethink on the traditional role of IT is critical. Today, IT cannot simply continue “keeping the lights on.” More than ever, IT must partner with the business as an orchestrator of services and a true leader in innovation. The new IT operating model for the IoE era is Fast IT. And it enables more efficient processes, better asset utilization, an increasingly productive employee base, and improved customer experiences.

Fast IT is the way forward for businesses looking to compete and thrive in the rapidly changing IoE economy. Is your organization ready for the transformation?

Here are a few questions to consider as you evaluate your organization’s readiness:

  • How confident are you in your current network’s ability to propel your business into the future?
  • What are your top three concerns about your network?
  • What are the criteria you see as crucial for your organization to adopt a Fast IT model?
  • How will next-gen networking affect your IT staff, role and influence?

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Join me on Twitter this Friday, July 18 at 10 a.m. PST/1 p.m. EST for insights and feedback about the #FutureOfIT, the #InternetofEverything and your organization in the #InnovateThink Tweet Chat.

Follow @JosephMBradley to learn more about the Internet of Everything and how companies must embrace Fast IT to fully maximize the value of the Internet of Everything for both themselves and their customers. Join the discussion by simply using hashtags #InnovateThink and #FutureOfIT on Twitter to join the conversation.

Learn more about the role of Fast IT in an Internet of Everything world:

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