Visualize this: nearly half the Earth’s population – 3.6 billion people – connected to the Internet for communication, commerce, education, information, and entertainment. Think that’s too futuristic? Think again. By 2017, less than five years from today, that will be our reality.
This prediction is one of several key findings from the newly released Cisco Visual Networking Index, 2012-2017, a highly regarded annual forecast of global Internet Protocol (IP) traffic now in its seventh year.
Let’s explore further the Internet of 2017, as projected by the updated VNI Forecast.
By 2017, IP traffic volumes and regional growth will continue to impress: Read More »
This is the first in a two-part blog series that examines the opportunities that cloud-based services offer to law enforcement agencies—along with the challenges of this fundamental shift in the way information resources are managed.
Police forces have a well-established culture of owning and managing systems directly founded on concerns about security and control of access to information. Three trends, however, make this position unsustainable:
Traditional models for acquiring and running systems, which slow the pace of innovation
Pressure to reduce costs
Increasing need to form partnerships with other police agencies, public-sector bodies, and the private sector. Partnership depends on information sharing and open approaches to developing systems.
One of the most radical—and successful—cloud-based public-safety and security services is Facewatch. Using a network-based model, Facewatch provides an online reporting tool that allows U.K. businesses and citizens to report crimes and attach video evidence. The service enables crime victims to cancel credit cards instantly through Facewatch’s partners; allows users to share images of wanted people; and provides a channel for feedback from the police on the outcomes of cases.
Facewatch offers immediate benefits to the public, businesses, and law enforcement:
Citizens: ease of reporting and rapid management of associated processes
Businesses: less time required to deal with incidents
Law enforcement: reduces or eliminates the need to interact directly with premises to recover video footage
For all users, there is greater transparency about processes and reporting on outcomes, as well as the ability for communities to share information about wanted persons and crime trends.
I was in the grocery store when I realized that something new was going on: our entrance into the era of computing that I call convergence — the convergence of man and machine – is already changing the face of collaboration.
In the recent past, collaboration did a great job of connecting people to people through video, voice and the virtual workspace, which improved productivity and the intimacy of connection. A video chat, whether for business or pleasure, communicates more than a simple phone call. Add a collective workspace and you’re off like a rocket. In this collaboration between people, the technology served as a conduit.
But now I’m sensing the beginning of something different: collaborating with the machine itself. Here’s an example: I’m pretty focused on maintaining my health and my weight so when I go to the grocery store, I have a health app that’s connected to my online health profile and running with augmented reality. When I show my phone my choice of broccoli, it votes thumbs up; when I grab my favorite cookies, it displays the calories and cholesterol they will add to my daily intake, notes that it’s contrary to medication I’m on, and advises me against it. (Of course when I get to the beer aisle, I over-ride its displeasure: this is collaborative, after all, not dictatorial!)
“The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
– Winston Churchill
It is nearly impossible – even foolish – to look ahead without looking back. Glimpses into the past can give us inspiration for new innovations and even teach us what not to do. Behind every great technological innovation is a solid legacy product or solution that inspired it or played an integral part in its development. Behind the printing press was paper and block printing. Behind the telephone was the telegraph. And behind the Internet of Everything (IoE)? Ethernet.
Today – May 22 – marks the 40th anniversary of Ethernet. In 1973, technologist and 3Com founder Robert Metcalfe designed the Ethernet to allow computer devices to communicate with each other using radio-like signals over an antenna cable. Long used for reliable and efficient access to information, its implications on the networking world reach far past the local area network (LAN).
Over the course of 40 years, our quest for connecting the unconnected continues. Our connections have become increasingly complex since Metcalfe was tasked with connecting several Xerox computers to a single printer, and we need to understand the possibilities in both the number and value of our modern-day connections.
In a previous blog post, How the Internet of Everything Will Change the World…for the Better, I referenced Metcalfe’s law: the power of the network is greater than the sum of its parts. True. But the parts need to be recognized and optimized in order to maximize this power. The Internet of Everything is a large-scale metaphor for Metcalfe’s law. The combined connections of people, processes, data, and things don’t just amount to a list of things that are connected. The actionable insights that exist with the power of networked connectivity exponentially create the Internet of Everything.
Ethernet has helped further the progress that these connections – and the insights gleaned from them – will have on the Internet of Everything. So, today we celebrate not only the introduction of Ethernet, but also the technologies it made possible.