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We don’t need ‘The Rock’ to save the day, we just need to ‘Get Social’!

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.

The Rock

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.

Mobile seisomemetres

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.

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Cisco Scores as Leader in the Infonetics Policy Management Scorecard

Last week, we were thrilled to receive the news that Infonetics scored Cisco Policy Suite as a Leader in the Policy Management Scorecard. Cisco was one of only two leaders recognized by Infonetics in this space and was recognized for building “… up its position in the market rapidly after its acquisition of BroadHop, demonstrating strong momentum around policy virtualization.”

Infonetics LeaderAs the Cisco Visual Networking Index reports, there will be Read More »

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Building the Foundation for the Next Wave in Mobility

We’ve come a long way since the first mobile devices hit the network. Our use of these devices has evolved beyond basic tasks such as checking email. They help us collaborate in real-time, stay healthy, directly connect with our favorite things, and even find true love.

Today, mobility is driving the future of digitization.

As mobility continues to permeate many facets of life, there will be a landslide of new connected devices beyond the smartphone and tablet — think wearables, sensors, and other “things” that we have yet to imagine. And with them, there will be an increased demand for speed and bandwidth from the network.


So how does IT prepare for the next wave in mobility? At Read More »

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ACG Research says “Cisco Continues to grow Market Share Leadership in Mobility” – #1 in Mobile IP Infrastructure, Packet Core, Mobile Backhaul, PCRF, and Mobile IP Core” for Q1 2015.

So here we are in the middle of Spring 2015 and the temperature is beginning to rise, yes finally here in New England the temperature is beginning to rise after such a harsh winter. What is also on the rise according to ACG Research is the Cisco IP Infrastructure Market-Share. ACG published today their 1st Quarter 2015 Mobile IP Infrastructure Report and it stated that Cisco led the mobile industry

  • Mobile IP Infrastructure at 44.7% up 5% QoQ
  • Mobile IP Backbone at 69.6% up 2.6% QoQ
  • Mobile IP Backhaul at 45.7% up 9.9% QoQ
  • Packet Core (EPC + MPC) at 30.1%

Market Shares of Leading Vendors

With the recent announcements of merger mania in the Video and Mobile market, we expect Read More »

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Cisco and Intel team up to make SDN easy for Service Creation

If you missed the April 28th Cisco Knowledge Network (CKN) webinar, you missed a very special event (but, don’t worry we provide the link below to the replay for all those who did register). Cisco Knowledge Network is an ongoing series of webinars for our customers and other interested people. Typically we cover technology and solutions. On the April 28th CKN 233 people watched and which is a new encapsulation protocol that enables dynamic service creation and modification without touching the network topology.

Charles Darwin

What made this CKN even more special was that Cisco teamed up with our NSH partner Intel to deliver this webinar. Uri Elzur (Intel) and Paul Quinn (Cisco), the amongst the authors of the NSH protocol IETF draft, joined Humberto La Roche (Cisco CTO office) to present and answer questions. Read More »

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