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My #InternetOfEverything Perspective: Why the Global Society Needs IoE

Glen Hiemstra, CEO of Futurist.com, shares his perspective on why the world needs the Internet of Everything. See the latest “My #InternetOfEverything Perspectives” blogs from Tom Touchet of City24/7 and Dave Barnes, CIO of UPS.

The role of a futurist was a little different in the pre-Internet world. During the 1980s, I had the chance to hear Willis Harmon, a futurist at Stanford Research, speak about computers and the global society. He discussed that everyone has this perception that the “computerization of everything” was making the world more complex. Rather than confining to everyone else’s opinion, he offered up a more unique perspective. He wanted people to consider that maybe the increasing complexity of global society was causing computerization. It’s a classic chicken before the egg debacle.

The same line of reasoning can be applied to the Internet of Everything (IoE). Rather than thinking of all the changes that IoE is bringing or enabling, it may be useful to think of all the global challenges that could be solved by connecting people, process, data and things. Cisco’s Chief Futurist Dave Evans recently discussed how the IoE is making the world a better place, and I want to expand on his ideas a bit and showcase how valuable, networked connections are enabling a more efficient future.

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Here’s a look at just two ways IoE is changing how we address multifaceted issues on a global scale.

The Internet of Everything Enables Connected Environmentalism

Have you ever considered that the civilization we created in the last 100 years, and the Internet of Everything for that matter, depend heavily on our ability to locate new sources of long-dead plants and animals, dig them up, and light them on fire? I heard Bruce Sterling discuss this idea from his book “Tomorrow Now: Envisioning the Next 50 Years” once at an event.  It’s true -- we live an extremely primitive life when we sum up what Sterling refers to as the “human race’s primary industrial enterprise.”

We are well aware of the future problems that this life is creating.

By the end of the next decade or so we will either have figured out how to use smart technology to reduce the carbon and other green-house gas impacts of our insatiable global energy generation needs, or make significant cut-backs in life-style will be on the horizon. Evidence for the global climate crisis is likely to continue to accumulate, and thus we will see greater social and political pressure for major change in the energy picture, including more efficiency and cleaner energy.

None of that happens without a highly connected data network, which enables both smart people inventing new things, and smart devices and infrastructure and vehicles making leaps in efficiency (and safety too!). This social movement is likely to become more powerful if the ice in the Arctic fully melts out one summer in coming decades, as many experts suspect that it will.

The Internet of Everything Drives the Future of Transportation

Our everyday transportation has its benefits, like getting us to and from work. However, as more car crashes continue to claim lives, the rise of smart transportation, connected workers and changing attitudes about driving could help improve safety and positively impact the environment.

In addition, recent surveys prove that younger generations are less likely to obtain their driver’s license. Does this mean that we are over the thrill of driving? Seems like it. Surveys show that if given the option between having a car or having a smart device, people increasingly choose the smart device. In fact, our main reason for driving since the car was invented was to commute to and from work. According to some recent Tweets, people today desire four major things during their commute:

1)      Get from point A to B

2)      Get work done

3)      Improve or not damage the environment

4)      Enjoy their personal interests

What if we could experience all four of these things without driving?  A smart infrastructure combined with smart private and transit vehicles capable of autonomous driving could make this happen. But we have a long way to go if that kind of future transportation is to be made available, including the need for smart roads that provide extensive information and smart vehicles that talk to the infrastructure and each other.

Being a futurist has definitely changed in the last 30 years, and I am sure it will be much different in the next 30 years. But one thing is for sure: if we still want to even have a future, we need to solve today’s global problems, starting with the environment and transportation.  And the IoE is just the way to make it happen.

Do you know of any other global challenges that IoE can solve? Share them with us in the comments section below or join the conversation, #InternetOfEverything. And be sure to listen to the new Future of Mobility Podcast I recently participated in with Dave Evans, Cisco Chief Futurist. A summary of the podcast can found on SlideShare.

Additional Resources:

Future of Mobility Podcast : Wearable to Aware-able _ Contact, Connections and Context from Cisco Business Insights

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Video: the Super Sensor of the #InternetofEverything

A key advantage of the Internet of Everything (IoE) is the ability to “see” the world around us in unprecedented ways.

One way to do this is through the millions of cheap, tiny digital sensors generating data from shoes, tires, shopping carts, jet-engine parts, medical equipment, and just about anything else you can imagine.

But another type of sensor promises even deeper visibility and insight: video. Connected video — when deployed in the right situations and combined with other IoE components, such as analytics and mobility — can truly transform the ways in which we sense the world. And for organizations, video will provide rich, real-time insights that will drive hyper-aware decision-making and predictive strategies.

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There is No Limit to Innovation

There is no limit to innovation.  Cisco has embraced that idea for more than three decades with our build, buy, partner and integrate growth strategy.  Part of that strategy is investing in order to gain insights and drive new innovation.  True to that spirit, we have just announced the next evolution of the Cisco Investments[1] platform and a set of investments in support of an exciting new investment theme. These announcements build upon the foundation of our current $2 billion investment portfolio, which fuels innovations across many domains and geographies.

In addition to our primary strategic investment activity, we are also allocating $150 million in theme-based investments over the next three years to explore new, disruptive markets, including: big data/analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), connected mobility, advanced storage, silicon, content technology ecosystem, and India innovation. The $150 million in funding builds on our previously announced $100 million plan to invest in IoE-focused starts ups and funds.

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Turn Big Data into Insights and Opportunities with Data Virtualization

IoE and the Insurance Impact
The Internet of Everything (IoE) and its impact on financial services and more specifically, insurance, is at its infancy. Many other industries are already taking advantage of data coming from historically non-communicative devices to make changes to processes, automate inventories and adjust the amount of water required for farming. As IoE proliferates within the insurance industry, there becomes an increasing need to connect data sources and virtualize that data. With more connected “things” than ever, data points can be utilized in different ways to provide better customer service, prevent fraud and develop new products. Because these new data points can change everything from a business model to product design, insurers need sophisticated software to manage them. All of these additional data points are on top of the explosion of data already in the industry – referred to as “big data”.

Insurers are now looking into software solutions that virtualize data and connect disparate sources around the firm to business intelligence applications that decision makers are using to look for specific insights. The opportunity won or lost will be determined by how well a business leader leverages their data to affect business value and obtain a significant advantage over competition. Data virtualization, a way of optimizing data from disparate sources, allows insurers and financial professionals the ability to manage big data and get updates in real-time without moving it from its original location. By leaving the data in its original location, it reduces the duplication of data when data marts and data warehouses are created for specific analytics applications (e.g. Customer Information File) and allows for other applications to easily access the data as well. Read More »

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The Cloud Delivers a Better Experience for the Connected Athlete through the Internet of Everything

In the world of sports, becoming the fiercest competitor possible is the name of the game.

Today, the intersection of cloud technology and smart sports equipment is helping athletes and para-athletes perform at a world-class level. As a techie, you might admire the new shock absorbers built for downhill skis so paraplegics can hurl down a mountain at 70mph. Or how can you not marvel at the development of the prosthetic retina that can help blind athletes perform the sports they love?

Another amazing advancement is highlighted in Rick Smolan’s book, The Human Face of Big Data. Sheila Nirenberg, an associate professor at Weill Cornell Medical College, developed a way to enable patients with macular degeneration to see again. Awesome!  As stated in the book:

 “Using an array of high-speed, parallel processing computers, Nirenberg and her team embedded custom software in microprocessors and cameras that will be built into eyeglasses…images captured by the cameras will be translated into code in the form of thousands of pulsing lights, which can be recognized by the brain.”

It won’t be long before today’s visually impaired athletes can use this technology to compete at the highest level. And more than ever, this technology will rely on data that flows quickly and in real-time.

This is where cloud computing plays a key role -- allowing data to be easily accessed and stored, so that mobile devices and the peripherals of tomorrow (connected eyeglasses, etc.) can provide new experiences to athletes. These devices will be able to transmit data, communicate to each other (M2M) and relay to the user (M2P) vital information needed for the athlete.

Advancements in medical technology and cloud computing are giving us a new perspective on life

Advancements in medical technology and cloud computing are giving us a new perspective on life

For example, a partially blind, or fully blind cross-country skier may one day have the capabilities through the Internet of Everything (IoE) to communicate through M2P technology while on the course. What will this mean?  Sensors indicating course characteristics (downhill, uphill, turns, starting line/finish line, timing, etc.) will be able to communicate and relay the information in real-time to the skier. These types of mobile-enabled experiences are powered through cloud infrastructure and applications.

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