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Internet of Everything

Do you remember the Internet coffee pot? Back in the earliest days of the Internet, researchers at the University of Cambridge put a constantly-updating image of their break-room coffee pot on the Internet. It had a utilitarian purpose – why go to the break room if the pot was empty? But it was also a bit of an Internet sensation. I still remember showing friends the coffee pot on the Mosaic browser and breathlessly exclaiming, “And this is all the way from England, and it’s live…”.  There really wasn’t a lot of content on the Internet in those days.

Compare then to this:  a coffee maker that tracks your usage, and wirelessly “phones home” to order refills when you’re close to using up all of your coffee pods. If you think this is unusual, then you better strap yourself in, because from here on, things will get faster. The next phase of the Internet is arriving sooner than you think with the Internet of Everything.

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In Europe, Grid 4EU Sets Foundation for the Smart Grid

Grid4EU is a four-year, multi-national project that comprises six smart grid projects by utilities in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Sweden, and the Czech Republic. Together these projects cover more than half of Europe’s electricity supply. With an ecosystem of 27-partners, the project is focusing on smart grid solutions for renewable energy integration, grid automation and energy efficiency.  This will effectively lay the groundwork for future electrical grids, while empowering consumers as marketplace participants.  Ultimately, improving consumption management and cost-effectively achieving greater network reliability, flexibility, and resiliency.

According to Marco Cotti, Head of Smart Grids Development at Enel,

“The GRID4EU project represents the first important step in the implementation of the European Electricity Grid Initiative roadmap and we are convinced that it will become a reference for the development of Smart Grids in Europe and beyond”

Cisco is supporting two major project demos in Italy and the Czech Republic. Read More »

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IPv6: Enabling the Internet of Things and Smart Grids

The Internet of Things is a fast growing market where IPv6 will play a central role. Cisco has recently delivered a new series of products with very innovate technologies for the energy market with a number of new technologies, all IPv6 based!

Indeed, the new routing protocol for the Internet of Things, RPL, which has been adopted as an international standard by the IETF (RFC 6550) and CoAP, the lightweight resources management protocol specified by the IETF are both IPv6 protocols. With the increasing number of devices connected to IP networks, IPv6 is undoubtedly the protocol of choice for the Internet of things.

A key example of where this comes to play is in Smart Grids.

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Zigbee IP: Extending the Smart Grid to Consumers

Enabling commercial, industrial and residential customers to better monitor and manage their energy consumption is a key benefit of a Smart Grid.  As part of their grid modernization initiatives, utilities are providing information and incentives to end consumers. These include visibility to real-time energy consumption, as well as variable price and demand response signals that communicate with energy management devices and smart appliances.

This will drive more low power, often battery powered, wireless and wired energy sensors and actuators in the consumer premises.  To date, this space is populated with several PHY/MAC specific, non-standardized protocol stacks which do not interoperate.  To avoid multiple separate consumer networks a PHY/MAC agnostic solution is needed and this solution is best based upon open IP standards.

The ZigBee Alliance’s ZigBee IP (ZIP) standard is a first definition of an open standards based IPv6 stack for smart objects. The effort has made significant progress to bring IPv6 network protocols over 802.15.4 wireless mesh networks to reality.

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Smart Grid Momentum

May 25, 2012 at 12:12 pm PST

Chairman and CEO John Chambers offers an update on Cisco’s Smart Grid solutions.

He writes, in part:

Throughout Cisco’s history, we have identified market transitions and listened closely to our customers as they navigate these changes. Nearly 20 years ago, the Telecom industry went through a major transformation and Cisco helped service providers evolve their businesses to deliver a digital, multimedia and immersive experience for their customers. The key to our success was a keen focus on our customers and building industry-wide partnerships to deliver the necessary business and technical solutions.

Today, the energy industry is in the midst of an equally significant market transition as they modernize the electric grid to address aging infrastructure, increase the integration of renewable energy sources, meet evolving regulatory requirements, and ensure the security of their critical assets. And doing all of these while continuing to deliver power reliably and safely to their customers.

Read his full update here:

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