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Ask The #InternetOfEverything Futurist: “In the Future, Will Clothes be Delivered to your Dressing Room in Your Size?”

In my role as Cisco’s Chief Futurist, I get many questions about what the future holds and how new technology and emerging solutions will change our lives. Given the positive feedback and the volume of questions being submitted from the community around the first series, I’ve decided to do another series to answer questions from the education and tech community around the Internet of Everything (IoE). Be sure to check out the previous Ask the #InternetOfEverything Futurist blogs and videos about the advances of battery technology and the future of smartphones.

As a kid, I was fascinated by the popular cartoon “The Jetsons.” Set in a futurist space community called Orbit City, the Jetson family had it all: a flying car, a household robot and a machine that helped members of the family get dressed.

Today, the technology the Jetsons used to live their life in the sky doesn’t seem too far-fetched. In fact, I’ve previously written about how close we are to seeing flying cars become a reality. We’ve also seen how the growth of the Internet of Everything (IoE) is connecting more and more people, data, things and processes – leading to a plethora of robots to clean your kitchen floors and an influx of connected things built to make our lives easier. A Cisco-powered infrastructure is what’s driving this the transition to an Internet of Everything world.

There is tremendous development in Jetsonian retail options. Online shopping via mobile devices, digital dressing room mirrors and a host of ready-to-wear connected devices (wearables) are changing how we shop and what we choose to buy. In one “Jetsons” episode, Jane and Judy Jetson use a “dress selector projection machine” to find an outfit to wear. Similar to what the creators of the Jetson’s predicted, we just beginning to see an iteration of this type of technology bring the runway to your dressing room or clothes closet. However, will this type of business model actually work?

In this Ask the #InternetOfEverything Futurist post, I’ll answer a question from Lauren Malhoit (@malhoit) a Cisco Champion, that points to this type of retail and fashion evolution. Lauren asks:

Question: “A recent Fast Company article mentions a retail business model where clothes are essentially delivered to you in the dressing room in your size. Do you think a model like this would work?”

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RetailMeNot Leverages Cisco and Plixer for WLAN Optimization

April 1, 2014 at 9:23 am PST

Founded in 2007, RetailMeNot.com is the largest digital coupon site in the US.  They help hundreds of thousands of customers save money when shopping online. They are headquartered in Austin Texas, in the hip “Live Music Capital of the World”.  Since the company went public in 2013, the company has doubled the number of employees from 250 to over 500.

In previous blogs, I have covered what is AVC, SuccessEHS and how Plixer’s Scrutinizer accepts Netflow, sFlow and IPFIX exports. This post will cover how these key products are combined by RetailMeNot in their WLAN deployments to optimize and support this fast growing company.

Recently Michael Patterson, the Founder and Product Manager at Plixer, Matthew St. Jean the Marketing Manager at Plixer and I had an opportunity to talk to Tim Tyndall, the Lead Network Engineer at RetailMeNot.  Tim shared with us the highlights of the wireless LAN deployment and explained how they use Cisco Application Visibility and Control and Plixer’s Scrutinizer to stay in control of how their WLAN is being utilized.

Tim described the environment and culture that has become a huge part of the company’s success.  RetailMeNot  provides hip new offices for its employees with open work spaces and other awesome perks.

The Cisco powered wireless network supports this initiative. In fact, nearly all network connectivity is wireless. He said that employees are issued a laptop by the company and many carry in their own smartphones and tablets as well; Most of those devices being from Apple.

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Employees can roam freely with reliable service that spans the company’s five floors. Even during large meetings where access density increases dramatically, service continues without any interruptions and the performance metrics they can obtain using NetFlow is exceptional and reinforce that the traffic is optimized. Read More »

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BYOD helps boost creativity and sales for family-owned midmarket furniture manufacturer.

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Vitra is a renowned for producing quality furniture. Their designs are well known for innovation and style. What makes Vitra unique is that they not only encourage creativity from their employees but they also invite visitors to participate in their creative process.

Vitra is headquartered in Switzerland and their flagship store, Vitrahaus is located in Weil am Rhein in south Germany. Vitrahaus embodies the company’s vision and this is where visitors get to experience the company’s creations in real life settings.

Vitra has been partnering with Cisco for over a decade. Communications and collaboration are integral to their success and their latest strategy is to embrace the megatrends in mobility and wireless to improve their guest services by enabling BYOD access for employees and customers with simple management. These trends are gaining popularity in midmarket businesses.

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Increasing Demand for Higher Location Data Resolution

Cisco has been playing a critical part for retail, healthcare, hospitality and transportation organizations to gain an understanding of how end-users move throughout an organization’s physical location. This is done through our Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution.

With all the valuable information CMX provides, the demand for even more accurate data has been growing. Location accuracy has been a hot developing field and, as I mentioned in announcing our Best of Interop Finalist status in the wireless category last week, Cisco’s taken the lead in redefining how this location-based data is acquired.

In the past many solutions have relied on the probing performed by the mobile device to acquire location-based data.  In recent months this approach has shown diminishing returns. The underlying issue is that this data is reliant on how frequently the mobile device probes an access point. A couple issues that arise include:

-       Mobile device manufacturers are reducing the frequency of device probing to conserve battery. This reduces the number of data points collected and impacts the accuracy of the data

-       Different manufacturers probe the access point with varying frequency so some devices deliver more accurate information than others skewing the location analytics data.

At Cisco’s annual Partner Summit event we are revealing some key areas of focus for the upcoming Cisco v8.0 release. Although the list is not inclusive of all new functionality, I would like to highlight some steps we are taking to bring CMX to meet the ever-evolving demand for location-based data.

Step 1: Increasing Data Resolution Read More »

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Cisco’s 802.11ac Portfolio Expands with the New Cisco Aironet 2700 AP

As a Product Manager there is some anxiety but more of an excitement around introducing a platform to the market. Today I am proud to be part of Cisco team that is  bringing to market the Cisco Aironet 2700 Series Access Point.  What it offers is a tremendous amount of power at a very attractive price point.  

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We all know Wi-Fi is here to stay and is expanding all around us rapidly. That need for speed is exciting.  But what does that mean? Not everyone feels comfortable being on the cutting edge. Many of our customers are not as concerned about chasing the future and have more limited budgets that they hesitate to put down for the best AP knowing there are lower priced options.  At the same time, everyone is aware technology moves ahead with or without you, so they don’t want to give up lot of the new capabilities by going totally to the other extreme of not upgrading at all.  What they want is something that’s going to last for a while that gives them the advantages available today, but not have to invest a lot to get it. I equate this to buying something like a car.  A year ago when I was in the market to buy a new car I didn’t want to sacrifice whole lot of options but if there was one or two options that I could give up in order to save a bit of money, I was okay with that.

This is similar to what Cisco is offering with Aironet 2700 Series.  Customers have to choose something that they can utilize in their network that is better than any of the competitive solutions out there, truly built-for-purpose, sleek design on the outside yet tough on the inside and very powerful. Read More »

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