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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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When ‘Machine-to-Machine’ Revolution Meets ‘Smart Cities’: A Glimpse into the Discussions inside San Diego Public Sector + Tech Community

A “Smart Cities” special event was organized in San Diego on June 27 by the Daniel Obodovski, a Director at Qualcomm. Daniel serves as the Co-Chair of a Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Special Interest Group (SIG) of CommNexus San Diego, a non-profit technology industry association that works to accelerate the formation, growth, and success of the technology industry in the San Diego region.

The M2M SIG is focused on wirelessly connected devices, which fall outside of the mobile phone and tablet space, commonly referred to as “the Internet of Things” (IoT) -- the wireless connectivity between the virtual and physical world around us. The M2M SIG addresses a spectrum of issues of the machine-to-machine area including: time-to-market challenges, new business models, market opportunities, technology constraints and solutions. This is a new SIG within CommNexus San Diego, and it aims to connect the best carriers of expertise with developers, entrepreneurs and investors. Forums such as this “Smart Cities” special event are one example of how they make these connections. Read More »

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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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Cisco’s Latest Networking Innovations: Bringing Intelligent Networks to Industrial Automation

Today, Cisco announced the Industrial Ethernet (IE) 2000 switch series which will help customers build intelligent networks for industrial automation by delivering highly secure, scalable connectivity from plant floor to enterprise network.

Cisco’s IE2000 switch series provides:
- consistent network services between industrial networks and enterprise business applications
- integrated security
- better manageability
- highly secure remote access and monitoring of automated systems
- intelligent energy management with visibility into machine performance to help customers better manage costs.

The IE2000 industrial switch also interoperates across corporate and manufacturing floor networks in a cost-effective manner to deliver video and corporate applications to manufacturing plant floor.

The IE2000 switch series is key product from our Connected Industries business unit.  According to Maciej Kranz, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Connected Industries business unit, “Major sectors of the economy are undergoing a transformation driven by new requirements around production and factory automation, traffic management, data analytics and machine-to-machine communication.  Cisco’s Connected Industries business unit was created to help customers realize the benefits of the transition to Ethernet and IP across the operational technology segments including manufacturing plants, transportation infrastructure and vehicles.”

Many of you have highlighted machine-to-machine (M2M) communications as a key consideration for organizations over the next few years.  Cisco’s own Visual Networking Index (VNI) showed that, by 2016, there will be nearly 2 billion machine-to-machine wireless connections.  This includes everything from in-car GPS systems to asset tracking systems in manufacturing and other sectors.

The result is a need to more tightly connect and integrate devices, machines and vehicles with traditional enterprise networks.  This “Industrialization of the Internet,” as Cisco calls it, will accelerate the networking industry beyond the IT and service provider (SP) networks in industries such as manufacturing and transportation.

Any industry analysts interested in more information on Cisco’s innovations for industrial automation, please contact me for details of our upcoming session with Maciej Kranz and the Connected Industries team.  This will include a more detailed overview of this announcement, more background on the Connected Industries business unit and the opportunity for Q&A.

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Cisco Live UK 2012 Industrial Sector: Get a head start solving business needs at the Industrial Solutions Booth

January 9, 2012 at 10:24 am PST

Cisco Live UK (January 30th-Feb 2nd in London)  is right around the corner.  A good number of our attendees hail from the industrial verticals such as Transportation, Oil & Gas, Water/Waste Water Treatment, Automotive, and Food & Beverage and Consumer Packaged Goods.

These industrial companies are wrestling with business challenges such as reducing costs, speeding time to market and improving production uptime. How does Cisco play in the industrial space you ask? Read More »

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