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IoT Holds Great Promise – But Ensuring its Security Takes Strong Leadership and Teamwork!

April 18, 2014 at 6:00 am PST

Many people take the term “Internet of Things” too literally, and assume that IoT is about the things, themselves. But they’re missing the whole point! It’s not the “things” that makes IoT special. After all, connected devices are neither new nor particularly interesting, particularly since the data each individual item produces is of little value. But by networking these devices together, IoT enables us to benefit from their ability to combine simple data to produce usable intelligence. In turn, that intelligence can be used by businesses to increase operational efficiency, and by individuals to make life easier and more comfortable.

But despite the many benefits of IoT, the billions of connected sensors, devices, and other smart objects it comprises will also dramatically increase the diversity of threats we will face. As a result, securely embracing IoT will require a multi-layer approach to security – including cloud, perimeter, physical, and device-level security, as well as end-to-end data encryption.

Ensuring that we can reap the overwhelming benefits of IoT without undermining security isn’t going to happen on its own; it will take strong leadership and a great deal of teamwork throughout the industry. That’s why I’m proud that Chris Young, Cisco’s Senior Vice President of Security, recently topped the list as one of the top 100 thought leaders for IoT! It will take leaders like Chris, who have a strong understanding of security and a passion for IoT, to help ensure that we can securely embrace IoT.

I honestly expect IoT to change the world in a variety of ways. But truly harnessing its power requires that we inspire and cultivate a true culture of security throughout every level of the extended network – which means that leadership and teamwork will be far more valuable than the technology, itself.

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Ask The #InternetOfEverything Futurist: “How Will the Future of Technology Integrate into our Five Senses?”

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. Be sure to check out previous Ask the #InternetOfEverything Futurist blogs and videos about the advances of battery technology, the future of smartphones and new retail models.

Greek philosopher Aristotle first classified the five senses of human perception: sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing in De Anima, a landmark piece of work that explores how we interpret reality.

Today, Aristotle’s belief about senses still holds true: Our senses help us obtain a better understanding of the world around us. And as the Internet of Everything (IoE) connects more people, process, data and things, emerging technology and the network to support such technology is playing an increased role in our sensory development and capabilities.

New solutions that rely on haptic touch technology, sensors and real-time data transmission protocols are no longer requiring us to touch or even see technology in order for us to interact with it. These innovations coupled with the power of the Internet of Everything are creating enhanced experiences for us – and a new way of viewing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching our world.

In today’s Ask the #InternetOfEverything Futurist post, I’ll answer a question from Cisco Champion Karen Woodard’s student, Kurt, who addresses this type of IoE-enabled sensory technology evolution. Kurt asks:

Question: “How will the future of technology integrate into our five senses?”

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Amsterdam Embraces the Internet of Everything, Paving the Way for a More Connected City

When people think of the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, they often think of bicycles, canals and progressive social values. Some may even know about its leadership in international trade, catalyzed centuries ago by the Dutch East India Company, the world’s first multinational corporation. Others may be more familiar with Amsterdam because of U.S. President Obama’s recent visit to the Rijksmuseum, which houses the world-famous painting The Night Watch by Rembrandt.

However, close 21st century observers know that Amsterdam is also a modern-day capital of collaborative innovation and some of the world’s most advanced Smart City deployments. Amsterdam was the first city in Europe to be connected to the Internet[1]. It was also one of the first cities to appreciate the importance of extending fiber-optic connectivity to its residents and businesses. At the same time, “green” is a priority and a practice in Amsterdam: The trams and streetcars run on green electricity, and the numerous data centers located in and around the city are required to comply with strict environmental rules.

These forward-thinking uses of technology help make Amsterdam one of the 15 most livable cities in the world according to Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey 2014: innovative, attractive, competitive, and connected! This early Internet pioneer is now set to take the next step by fully embracing the Internet of Everything and all the value it can deliver economically, socially and environmentally.

Amsterdam MoU SigningcroppedCisco is proud to play an important role in this evolution. Two days ago, (April 8), on behalf of Cisco, I had the pleasure of signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan, to jointly develop and implement a long-term Internet of Everything strategy for the city that connects people, processes, data, and things (see photo to the left). Cisco and the city of Amsterdam have been working together on a variety of Smart City endeavors for ten years now, including citywide optical fiber to the home, a Smart Grid, Smart Work place and Public TelePresence capabilities. By creating a more holistic Internet of Everything strategy for Amsterdam, the agreement will further strengthen our partnership Mayor and allow us to pursue new opportunities while protecting citizen security and privacy.

We will work with city officials to build a large local ecosystem to bring great exciting new innovations to this city and its citizens, initially focusing on smart lighting, smart parking and smart security in Southeast Amsterdam

According to distinguished Harvard economist Edward Glaeser, the City is human kind’s greatest invention. Imagine combining this with the greatest invention of the modern era: the Internet of Everything. In Amsterdam, and other great cities around the world, we are exploring new ways to more smartly manage water, traffic, energy, pollution, healthcare, travel, waste, lighting, crime and even parking.

In this age of rapid urbanization, I am convinced that cities that don’t embrace the Internet of Everything will be at a competitive disadvantage, and even be left behind. Cities with ambition and vision must help to lead the way. This MoU with Amsterdam is an important step for the Internet of Everything, for all Dutch citizens and for cities and citizens around the world.

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Ask The #InternetOfEverything Futurist: “In the Future, Will Clothes be Delivered to your Dressing Room in Your Size?”

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). Be sure to check out the previous Ask the #InternetOfEverything Futurist blogs and videos about the advances of battery technology and the future of smartphones.

As a kid, I was fascinated by the popular cartoon “The Jetsons.” Set in a futurist space community called Orbit City, the Jetson family had it all: a flying car, a household robot and a machine that helped members of the family get dressed.

Today, the technology the Jetsons used to live their life in the sky doesn’t seem too far-fetched. In fact, I’ve previously written about how close we are to seeing flying cars become a reality. We’ve also seen how the growth of the Internet of Everything (IoE) is connecting more and more people, data, things and processes – leading to a plethora of robots to clean your kitchen floors and an influx of connected things built to make our lives easier. A Cisco-powered infrastructure is what’s driving this the transition to an Internet of Everything world.

There is tremendous development in Jetsonian retail options. Online shopping via mobile devices, digital dressing room mirrors and a host of ready-to-wear connected devices (wearables) are changing how we shop and what we choose to buy. In one “Jetsons” episode, Jane and Judy Jetson use a “dress selector projection machine” to find an outfit to wear. Similar to what the creators of the Jetson’s predicted, we just beginning to see an iteration of this type of technology bring the runway to your dressing room or clothes closet. However, will this type of business model actually work?

In this Ask the #InternetOfEverything Futurist post, I’ll answer a question from Lauren Malhoit (@malhoit) a Cisco Champion, that points to this type of retail and fashion evolution. Lauren asks:

Question: “A recent Fast Company article mentions a retail business model where clothes are essentially delivered to you in the dressing room in your size. Do you think a model like this would work?”

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An Eye to the Future of Mobility: Wearables & Health Care

The explosive growth of the Internet of Everything (IoE) is driving a sweeping wave of transformation across our world. And the health care industry is among the many industries that are feeling its profound impact.

Already, health care practitioners are embracing such IoE-related trends as the surge in mobile devices and the cutting-edge advances in Big Data analytics. An ever-expanding multitude of applications are connecting mobile users (and patients!) in startling new ways. And many health organizations are adopting BYOD and deploying any-to-any connections, which link hospitals across the globe. The rising influx of smart watches and wearable technology that track personal health data also show great promise.

Overall, emerging mobile solutions can have a tremendous impact on the future of health care as they enable increased connectivity and a much deeper dimension and accessibility to key health insights.

In his book, The Human Face of Big Data, Rick Smolan, the renowned photojournalist and author, explores the interrelations among mobility, Big Data and health care. Together, he argues, they are transforming what it means to be connected. For example, wearables are already entering the mobile consumer landscape, where they are complimenting smartphones and tablets. But in the health care industry, wearables have tremendous practical potential. Electronic tattoos, Bluetooth-enabled dental implants, and a myriad of sensors that track our vital signs are changing how, when, and where we receive health care.

MobilizeMag: Healthcare and Mobility and how New Advancements Lead to Better Patient Care from Cisco Business Insights

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