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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.

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Cisco Live 2012 Happenings – Manufacturing Industry related

June 13, 2012 at 11:59 pm PST

Connected Industries Booth

It was great to see the Cisco Connected Industries Booth that I blogged about recently humming at Cisco Live this week. Lots of delegates interested in talking about Converged Plant-wide networks, Machine-to-Machine applications and technologies, and all the different network sensing, diagnostic and management capabilities of our Partners such as Rockwell Automation, Panduit Corp, Emerson , OSIsoft LLC and Honeywell Process Solutions.

Maciej Kranz, CIBU VP, talks to attendees

I videoed a few of the demos and will talk about them in future blogs, but I wanted to share some great images from the booth, and also from the ‘Table-Topics’ I helped moderate on Tuesday and Wednesday. Some delegates really get the trends and are on their way to implemented open standards networks throughout their organizations. During the Table topics a pharmaceutical company and a utilities company talked about ‘Wireless in Manufacturing’ and the direction they were taking. There are challenges ahead and we talked about how Cisco was helping to tackle some of the key ones -- security and manageability came out tops, so Cisco’s Secure-X architecture advances were appreciated.

Table Topics provides a relaxed discussion

The Rockwell Robot, the OSIsoft PI software, the Panduit solutions and the Emerson and Honeywell sensor networks booths (Wireless Hart and ISA100 respectively) were all big draws, as were the new IE2000 hardened switches from Cisco. There was huge interest in the M2M demonstrations and the way the ‘Internet of Things’ is becoming as huge as the 2008 forecasts predicted.

The Cisco Live event is a mixture of learning, networking and discussion. If you get a chance to attend you’ll meet folks from all over the world and see that the challenges and solutions are often not that different between countries or organizations.

Watch out for my next blogs where I go into more depth on the demonstrations and messaging from Cisco.

 

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Cisco Live 2012 San Diego, USA, June 10th-14th – Connected Industries

June 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm PST

Cisco Live US June 10th-14th

The largest gathering of Cisco customers takes place this week in San Diego, California. Taking place from the 10th to the 14th of June, Cisco Live 2012 is a great venue to see some of the latest technologies and solutions for the manufacturing and industrial sectors. 

You can get education and training on the latest technologies and trends, and get tested and certified on Cisco products. One of the best benefits is mingling with like-minded colleagues, Cisco professional, and Cisco Partners.

For companies attending who are in the  manufacturing, oil and gas, mining, transportation, and energy industries,  we invite you to stop by the Connected Industries booth, #2934.  Read More »

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Zigbee IP: Extending the Smart Grid to Consumers

Enabling commercial, industrial and residential customers to better monitor and manage their energy consumption is a key benefit of a Smart Grid.  As part of their grid modernization initiatives, utilities are providing information and incentives to end consumers. These include visibility to real-time energy consumption, as well as variable price and demand response signals that communicate with energy management devices and smart appliances.

This will drive more low power, often battery powered, wireless and wired energy sensors and actuators in the consumer premises.  To date, this space is populated with several PHY/MAC specific, non-standardized protocol stacks which do not interoperate.  To avoid multiple separate consumer networks a PHY/MAC agnostic solution is needed and this solution is best based upon open IP standards.

The ZigBee Alliance’s ZigBee IP (ZIP) standard is a first definition of an open standards based IPv6 stack for smart objects. The effort has made significant progress to bring IPv6 network protocols over 802.15.4 wireless mesh networks to reality.

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Are You Ready for the New Normal?

Over the last ten years, the utilization of mobile devices by consumers has undergone a radical transformation. From voice, to SMS messaging, to data, to interactive applications, mobile devices have become an integral part of consumer’s daily lifestyle. This year the number of mobile connected devices will exceed the world’s population. This is the beginning of a paradigm shift in the mobility sphere, this is the New Normal.

This new mobility movement can be defined by three technological trends:

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