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The Extrasensory Enterprise: Turning Data Complexity into Advantage

By Shaun Kirby, Director, Innovations Architecture
Internet Business Solutions Groupshakirby-lg

If anyone still doubts the overwhelming complexity of today’s data deluge, Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google, offers some poignant perspective. In a recent book, “The Human Face of Big Data”, he observes that from the dawn of civilization until 2003 humankind generated five exabytes of data. Now, we produce more than five exabytes of data every two days.

Those torrents of information may be intimidating, but they also promise great opportunities. Indeed, Big Data has been touted as an answer to many problems. Looking for customer buying patterns? Retailers have petabytes of purchasing history. Need to test a new drug? There are terabytes of patient data to be analyzed. Launching a new product? A mountain of social media data awaits you. Read More »

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Cisco Smart Grid Team Supports Wi-SUN Alliance to Drive Interoperability

Cisco’s Smart Grid Team is excited to support the Wireless Smart Utility Network Alliance (Wi-SUN). Lionel Chocron, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Connected Energy Networks Business, will be representing Cisco on the Wi-Sun board of directors. Cisco will be joining at the promoter level and the entire team is looking forward to helping drive the development of interoperable Field Area Networks (FAN) for utility applications.

Field Area Networks today are often closed,  proprietary systems and generally just supporting a single service. As a result, they do not support interoperability across multiple vendors or take advantage of the decades of networking expertise available within the Internet Protocol suite (IP).

By supporting Wi-SUN, Cisco will help drive the technical definition for standards based, multi service, secure, and scalable Field Area Networks. The Field Area Networks will support important utility use cases including Automatic Metering Infrastructure, Outage Management, and Distribution Automation.

The Wi-SUN defined Field Area Network will be based upon the IP protocol suite, with the initial release based on IEEE 802.15.4g PHY and 802.15.4e MAC wireless mesh technologies.  Usage of the IP protocol suite will provide many benefits, including the ability to support additional PHY/MAC technologies in the future.

Our team will further assist in the development of certification testing and “plug-fests” for regions around the world. This will ensure international interoperability between multiple vendors implementing the Wi-SUN defined Field Area Network.

“We are very pleased to be joining the Wi-SUN alliance, and look forward to collaborating with our industry partners to bring interoperable, standards based utility Field Area Networks to reality,” said Lionel Chocron, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Connected Energy Networks Business Unit.

Other companies who are promoters of the Wi-Sun alliance include:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further details about the Wi-SUN Alliance can be found here

Cisco Connected Grid products and solution information is available here

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Internet of Everything in Action: Today and Tomorrow #IoE

When the history of the Internet of Everything (IoE) is written, its success or failure will be determined by answering one question. How did IoE benefit humanity? In the end, nothing else matters.

With this in mind, let’s look at two examples of how IoE will benefit people, both today and tomorrow.

Today—Transforming the World’s Cities
To revitalize the world’s largest cities, City24/7 — a company committed to making public communications more accessible to everyone, everywhere — in collaboration with Cisco IBSG and the City of New York has launched an interactive platform that integrates information from open government programs, local businesses, and citizens to provide meaningful and powerful knowledge anytime, anywhere, on any device. In short, City24/7 delivers the information people need to know, where and when it helps them most.

Located at bus stops, train stations, major entryways, shopping malls, and sports facilities, City24/7 Smart Screens incorporate touch, voice, and audio technology to deliver a wide array of hyper-local (about two square city blocks) information, services, and offerings in real time. The Smart Screens can also be accessed via Wi-Fi on nearby smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers.

The overarching goals of the City24/7 Smart Screens are to: Read More »

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Real-World M2M—and a Real-World Mobile Data Challenge

In the months since I attended the Smart Cities event organized by Qualcomm and CommNexus in San Diego, the buzz about “Smart Cities” and the use of machine-to-machine (M2M) wireless technologies has only grown louder and more intense. Which Smart City-relevant innovations are under development inside Qualcomm?

Known primarily for mobile chipset technologies, Qualcomm is working to optimize wireless networks and sensors that support M2M solutions and, ultimately, Smart Cities of the future. An often-overlooked part of this initiative is the company’s work in preparing the wireless industry for the imminent tsunami of data that will come when countless “things” equipped with M2M wireless sensors—part of the “Internet of Everything”—hit wireless networks. Qualcomm calls it the 1000x Challenge, referring to wireless industry predictions about a 1000x increase in mobile data usage between 2010 and 2020.

Last month, Qualcomm Executive Vice President and CTO Matt Grob presented at Meeting of the Minds 2012 in San Francisco. His presentation, “Next Big Innovation: The Mobile Internet Transformation—Meeting Network Capacity Needs of Cities,” showed how wireless connectivity is revolutionizing the way people live and interact with each other in cities.

A few examples of Qualcomm tech in this arena:

  • From Qualcomm’s perspective, a “smarter grid“ employs digital wireless technologies that allow utility companies to safely and securely deliver prepaid electric services that save homes and businesses money through real-time monitoring of power usage over existing cell networks, thus reducing deployment costs for the utility and saving energy for the planet. At the same time, smarter grids enable customers to better manage their own energy usage.
  • One recent Smart Grid example is Qualcomm’s work with Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the United States. The success of this collaboration has enabled Duke Energy to install hundreds of thousands of communications nodes, which interface with electric and gas meters, line sensors, transformers, and other end points, meters, sensors, and distribution automation equipment, and optimize energy usage in five states.
  • Working with ECOtality, a maker of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, Qualcomm participated in The EV Project, the largest deployment of electric vehicles and charge infrastructure in history. The project, now in nine states plus the District of Columbia, leverages cellular technology incorporated into charging stations, enabling EV car drivers to easily find charging stations with their smartphones. Moreover, the solution allows users to reserve stations as well as receive alerts users when the charge is finished or if it the charge has been interrupted.
  • Another exciting development, also involving EVs, is Qualcomm Halo’s teaming with Renault and Delta Motorsport in London. Qualcomm Halo, a subsidiary of Qualcomm, produces wireless charging mats that enable EV drivers to simply drive up and park over the charging mat—no exact alignment necessary (e.g., you have to line up your electric toothbrush perfectly on the charger in order for it to charge). Initially, the benefit is no longer having to deal with tangled charging cables. But looking beyond that, Qualcomm Halo envisions embedded chargers in the roadway. Even further out is the idea that these mats could be built into the road and connected to the overall Smart Grid. Depending on the time of the day, more or less energy resources could be devoted to that specific roadway, effectively channeling energy to where it’s needed most.

Cisco IBSG is also engaged with the Internet of Everything in a variety of ways, such as through the Connected Vehicle.

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on how M2M connections—and the Internet of Everything—can enable Smart Cities of the future.

 

 

 

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Connecting Homes and People to Improve Lives

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

You hear the term “M2M” a lot these days in the tech industry, and it means different things for different people. Broadly, machine-to-machine communications is about connecting devices — virtually any kind of devices — to network applications.

But for me, one of the most interesting aspects of M2M is the ability to improve the lives of people with disabilities or impairments by bringing them network-based tools that were previously inconceivable.

Read More »

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