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Weird? Or Previously Unexplored?

A connected toothbrush that gives you a virtual checkup every time you brush – is that weird, or near-term reality?

I recently came across the article “25 Weirdest Things in the ‘Internet of Things’” in InfoWorld, which focuses on the different – and what many might consider unorthodox – ways in which the Internet is now playing a part in our everyday lives. The article outlines the many things that could someday be connected to the Internet, and the chain reaction that these connections(and their insights) will have.

Cisco_2-kids

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Beyond MQTT: A Cisco View on IoT Protocols

A core part of Cisco’s Internet of Everything narrative is the Internet of Things—what we view as the latest wave of the Internet -- connecting physical objects in ways that help us analyze and control our environment to provide better safety, comfort, and efficiency.

This is not a new concept—RFID was introduced in the late 1960s—but it has reached a tipping point for IP connectivity, driven by advances in sensor technology, IPv6, and electronics miniaturization.

Amid this move toward IP, Cisco is continuing its long-standing participation in OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) by participating in the effort to produce an MQTT standard. Read More »

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Cisco Connected Grid Update

2012 was an exciting year for Cisco’s Connected Energy business.

Cisco entered the Smart Grid space 3 years ago and we have seen significant customer momentum.  We now have more than 250 customers worldwide. These include advanced metering infrastructure, substation and utility data center deployments in North America and wide area, substation, and distribution networks in Europe and Asia.  In 2012, we had over 175 production deployments and picked up the UTC Best Smart Grid Products/Solutions for FAN and Substation as well as the Frost & Sullivan innovations awards. Our Connected Grid Cisco Developer Network of partners continues to grow as well and we will be announcing more members in the coming months.  

Last Wednesday we announced an expansion of the Connected Grid Portfolio. The new offerings include the Cisco® Utility Operational Network solution, Cisco Connected Grid Design Suite, and Cisco Incident Response and Workforce Enablement solution. These three new solutions will help utilities modernize, manage, and improve everyday grid operations. Read More »

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Cisco Smart Grid Team Supports Wi-SUN Alliance to Drive Interoperability

Cisco’s Smart Grid Team is excited to support the Wireless Smart Utility Network Alliance (Wi-SUN). Lionel Chocron, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Connected Energy Networks Business, will be representing Cisco on the Wi-Sun board of directors. Cisco will be joining at the promoter level and the entire team is looking forward to helping drive the development of interoperable Field Area Networks (FAN) for utility applications.

Field Area Networks today are often closed,  proprietary systems and generally just supporting a single service. As a result, they do not support interoperability across multiple vendors or take advantage of the decades of networking expertise available within the Internet Protocol suite (IP).

By supporting Wi-SUN, Cisco will help drive the technical definition for standards based, multi service, secure, and scalable Field Area Networks. The Field Area Networks will support important utility use cases including Automatic Metering Infrastructure, Outage Management, and Distribution Automation.

The Wi-SUN defined Field Area Network will be based upon the IP protocol suite, with the initial release based on IEEE 802.15.4g PHY and 802.15.4e MAC wireless mesh technologies.  Usage of the IP protocol suite will provide many benefits, including the ability to support additional PHY/MAC technologies in the future.

Our team will further assist in the development of certification testing and “plug-fests” for regions around the world. This will ensure international interoperability between multiple vendors implementing the Wi-SUN defined Field Area Network.

“We are very pleased to be joining the Wi-SUN alliance, and look forward to collaborating with our industry partners to bring interoperable, standards based utility Field Area Networks to reality,” said Lionel Chocron, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Connected Energy Networks Business Unit.

Other companies who are promoters of the Wi-Sun alliance include:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further details about the Wi-SUN Alliance can be found here

Cisco Connected Grid products and solution information is available here

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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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