Mobile applications and sensors are commonly used to monitor traffic, health & wellness and incidents such as road traffic accidents. But what about the threat of catastrophic disasters such as earthquakes where the loss of life can be unprecedented?
The sun drenched, Californian city of Pasadena is known for hosting the annual Rose Bowl Football game. It is also located near the infamous San Andreas Fault (SAF). If you paid attention in geography class at school or if you’ve seen the latest Hollywood blockbuster, ‘San Andreas’ starring ‘The Rock’, you’ll know that this means the city is at risk from earthquakes.
Can ‘The Rock’ save the day?
It is suspected that one day California will be hit by The ‘Big One’. This is a hypothetical earthquake of a magnitude ~8 or greater that is expected to happen along the SAF. Such an earthquake will result in devastation to human civilization within about 50-100 miles of the fault in urban areas such as Palm Springs, Los Angeles and San Francisco. No one knows when ‘The Big One’ will happen because scientists cannot predict earthquakes with any precision. However, technology is providing them with data that in time will give Californian residents a fighting chance of survival.
Seismometers are highly sensitive instruments that detect seismic activity that occur before earthquakes strike. Unfortunately, due to their cost, the number of seismometers in California are limited. The Southern California Seismic Network operates just 350 seismic stations and the Northern California Seismic Network has a further 412.
With the threat of ‘The Big One’ forever looming, The Caltec Institute in Pasedena embarked on a project to determine how they could provide a blanket of cheap Seismometers across the state.
Their answer? Smartphones! Yes, really!
Research conducted proved that accelerometers found in most smartphones are sensitive enough to detect large earthquakes.
Creating the ‘Community Seismic Network’ – Caltech is encouraging residents to opt-in to turn their smart phones into mobile seismometers by simply downloading an application called ‘Crowdshake’ onto their android device.
Caltec have said: “if only 1 percent of users in the area opted into the scheme, that few hundred seismometers would be augmented by several hundred thousand additional sensors giving sufficient intelligent processing”.
So how does it work?
Upon downloading the mobile application an algorithm executes in the background of the mobile device. Algorithms are monitored and when seismic motion is detected by the accelerometer, a message is sent to a Cloud Fusion Center which includes the time, location, and estimated amplitude of the data that triggered the message.
The benefit of the Community Seismic Network is huge. A dense, city-wide seismic network could be used to detect earthquakes rapidly after they start and measure the strength of shaking accurately as it unfolds.
What would this mean to Californian residents? Well, it will enable immediate action to be taken to prevent damage, such as stopping trains and elevators, stabilizing the power grid, and deploying emergency teams.
This is an astounding example of the Internet of Everything! People, data, process and things coming together to save lives in real-time!
Whilst the application is currently a research prototype and not yet fully deployed for public use, Caltech anticipate that the capability of real-time early warning may convince users to download and install the application when it is readily available.
So quite simply, it pays to ‘get social’ especially on those days when ‘The Rock’ isn’t around the save the day!
The Next Big One: Detecting Earthquakes and other Rare Events from Community-based Sensors.
Tags: California, California Institute of Technology, Caltech, Cisco, collaboration, Dwayne Johnson, earthquake, education, Internet of Everything, internet of things, IoE, IoT, mobility, real-time data, San Andreas, social media, technology, The Rock
Earlier this week, Federal Computer Week ran an article – “Are agencies really ready for the Internet of Things?” – that discusses the potential challenges government agencies face when implementing the Internet of Things (IoT). The article’s author spoke to Gary Hall, chief technology officer for Federal Defense at Cisco, about these challenges, as well as why federal agencies can’t afford to ignore IoT any longer.
The biggest concern that all organizations have with IoT is the massive scope it involves – there is a huge volume of data being produced and a need to store and process it all. Even just the number of connected devices is expected to explode in the coming years, growing from around 16 billion today to 50 billion by 2020. “Humans can’t deal with the volume of data we’re producing,” Hall said.
All this data means more chances for security breaches as well, which is especially worrying for federal agencies. In this case, awareness is key, as Peter Romness, a business development manager Cisco, spoke about at a recent GovLoop seminar. Romness cautioned that there is no “silver bullet” defense, so agencies must prepare to deal with inevitable hacks. “It’s not a question of if you’re going to get hacked, it’s a matter of when,” he said.
Despite these concerns, IoT experts agree that federal agencies cannot avoid the issue any longer, and if they haven’t already started planning for IoT implementation, they’re behind. Cisco estimates that IoT will generate $4.6 trillion for the public sector over the next 10 years, and agencies that are too wary of potential security issues risk missing out on this value. “This is the next big disruption,” Hall said. “It’s important that we aren’t so afraid of the fear of attack that we don’t realize the value.”
For example, the General Services Administration (GSA) – which manages nearly 10,000 government-owned buildings around the county – is reaping the rewards of its IoT- building management initiative, GSALink. GSA collects almost 30 million data points from sensors throughout its buildings, constantly monitoring everything from light to humidity. Using this data, GSA is able to optimize conditions when workers are present and save on energy costs when buildings are empty. IoT can add significant value like this to all federal agencies – they just have to take advantage of it!
Read more about how IoT can transform the public sector here, and check out more thoughts from Cisco’s experts like Gary Hall on our blog.
Tags: cisco government, federal government, government, Internet of Everything, internet of things, IoE, IoT, public sector, security
Cisco is proud to announce the top 20 finalists from the first annual IoT World Forum Young Women’s Innovation Grand Challenge!
In collaboration with our key partners, this challenge enabled us to connect with over 1500 girls between the ages of 13-18, located in 171 countries across the world. We received approximately 400 completed submissions for connecting mobile devices to the internet using IoT technologies in multiple fields including education, healthcare, manufacturing, energy, retail, transportation, mining, and smart cities.
Out of all the ideas submitted, our pool of judges have determined the top 20 finalists who they felt demonstrated the most original, creative, and feasible ideas. And the finalists are: Read More »
Tags: Cisco, inbar lasser raab, internet of things, IoT, iot world forum, Young Women's Innovation Grand Challenge
The recent passing of John Forbes Nash made me wonder how his ingenious game theory can be applied to technology innovation.
Very simply put, Nash’s theory of equilibrium puts forth that outcomes are more attainable for all parties when they work cooperatively toward a goal rather than against each other in isolation. Knowing each other’s mindset and working together gives each party a better chance at achieving his or her objective than working on their own.
This theory has been used to analyze everything from wars and sports to evolutionary biology and games of skill. Read More »
Tags: Alex Goryachev, cisco live, DevNet Zone, innovation, Innovation Grand Challenge, Internet of Everything, Internet of Everything World Forum, internet of things, IoE, IoT, IoTWF
In this 5th why I love big data blog series, I am joined by Jeff Aboud from Splunk to outline why big data security analytics is essential to today’s security challenges.
Jeff Aboud, Sr. Solutions Marketing Manager, Security Markets, Splunk Jeff Aboud has more than a dozen years in various areas of the security industry, spanning from the desktop to the cloud, including desktop AV, gateway hardware and software, encryption technologies, and how to securely embrace the Internet of Things. His primary focus today is to help business and security professionals understand how to visualize, analyze, and alert across a broad range of data sources in real time to maximize their security posture.
It’s no secret that advanced threats and malicious insiders present increasing security challenges to organizations of all sizes. Security professionals know that it’s not matter a question of if, but when an attack will successfully breach their network. Visibility is often what makes the difference between a breach and a major security incident, and enables proactive security posture throughout the attack continuum – before, during, and after the attack. It’s also essential to understand that the fingerprints of an advanced threat are often located in the “non-security” data, so the effective detection and investigation of these threats, before your data is stolen, requires security and non-security data.
So what does all this really mean, and how can you use it do dramatically improve your security posture?
You need to integrate and correlate the data from your firewalls, intrusion prevention, anti-malware, and other security-specific solutions along with your “non-security” data such as the logs and packet information from your servers, switches, and routers. This is no easy task with the large number of different security solutions present in most enterprise networks. But having all your data at your fingertips will help you improve your detection capabilities and automate the remediation of advanced threats.
But how can you do this, since Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems only look at traditional security sources? The partnership between Splunk and Cisco is the answer. Splunk is integrated across Cisco security platforms, as well as other places throughout the network including various Cisco switches, routers and Cisco Unified Computing Systems (UCS) to deliver broad visibility across your environment.
Together, Splunk and Cisco provide security and incident response teams the tools they need to quickly identify advanced threats, visualize them in real-time across potentially thousands of data sources, and take automated remediation action on Cisco firewalls and intrusion prevention systems. Read More »
Tags: #CLUS, @ciscoDC, BigData, IoE, IoT, security, Splunk