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Video: the Super Sensor of the #InternetofEverything

A key advantage of the Internet of Everything (IoE) is the ability to “see” the world around us in unprecedented ways.

One way to do this is through the millions of cheap, tiny digital sensors generating data from shoes, tires, shopping carts, jet-engine parts, medical equipment, and just about anything else you can imagine.

But another type of sensor promises even deeper visibility and insight: video. Connected video — when deployed in the right situations and combined with other IoE components, such as analytics and mobility — can truly transform the ways in which we sense the world. And for organizations, video will provide rich, real-time insights that will drive hyper-aware decision-making and predictive strategies.

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Girls Among the Geeks: Why Women Should Absolutely Seek Careers in Tech

Choosing a career in technology turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. At one time, however, it seemed counterintuitive to enter such a male-dominated industry. I’m not an engineer. I don’t have a degree in computer science. The only traditional tech skill I possessed was a small knowledge of HTML programming language, which I at one time used to put up static web pages. Today, that skill is useful only for editing blog posts.

What I was trained for was design. I moved into technology because it offered me a fresh way to leverage those talents while having a bigger impact. As a designer, I was taught to understand the context of a problem and to generate insights and creative solutions. I switched from a career in print design because technology was providing exciting new ways to reach people. I found it fascinating and wanted to be a part of it.

Apparently, I’m in the minority. A Forbes article cited research from Maria Klawe, a computer scientist and president of Harvey Mudd College, in listing some of the main reasons women don’t choose tech careers. Many believe that they won’t find a career in tech interesting, while others fear they won’t be good at it. A third concern is working in such a predominantly male bastion.

I have to say that my experience on all three counts has been just the opposite.

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How Retail’s New “4 P’s of Performance” Will Transform the Industry

Retail success has always been about delivering on the “4 Rs”: getting the Right products to the Right place at the Right time and for the Right price. While that success formula remains valid, technology-enabled advancements promise to disrupt how — and how well — retailers will be able to deliver on each element.

“Omnichannel” is a theme that has dominated retailers’ mindshare the last several years as digital influence and mobile connectivity become bigger and bigger elements in the shopping journey. Now emerging are the Internet of Everything (IoE) and Big Data analytics. While pervasive IoE connectivity generates a deluge of data, new analytics tools are helping to turn this raw data into actionable insights. The mashup of omnichannel, Big Data, and IoE is positioned to drive new operational benchmarks through a focus on the retail industry’s new “4 Ps of Performance”: Precision, Personalization, Prediction, and Platforms.

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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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A Symphony of Sensors Drives Value, Insight, and Opportunity

To cross a busy intersection safely, it’s best to have all of your senses alert. That way, if you don’t happen to see that oncoming truck ignoring the “Walk” sign, you will probably still hear it. In the case of a heavy cement mixer, you may even feel the low rumble of its powerful engine first.

In the Internet of Everything (IoE), a similar principle applies. We call it “sensor fusion,” and it involves combining two or more sensors — often of different types — to monitor a specific environment and offer actionable insights more intelligently. These could be cameras and Wi-Fi tags or weight-sensing shelves and ultrasonic imaging, to name just two combinations. Moreover, the combined sensor data can itself be fused with other information streams — for example, those relating to weather, operations, news, or social media.

The result? Highly informed, real-time decision making and richer customer experiences.

Until recently, sensor fusion has been mostly exploited in specialized devices such as robots, but it is now driving a revolution in enterprise systems. This will bring new life to entire industries and completely transform stores, manufacturing floors, and transportation corridors. By greatly improving the accuracy of their measurements, organizations will be able to offer rich new experiences and gain substantial competitive advantage.

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