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Educause 2013: It’s All About Engagement

Educause 2013 brought together the country’s greatest minds in higher education to discuss the future of learning. We’ve come away from this year’s conference with a lot to think about – the role of mobile devices in the classroom, new technology implementations and turning the traditional classroom upside down. But throughout all of these different discussions, the common thread throughout the conference was engagement.

At the Cisco booth, we featured solutions that can help engage students through the use of video.  Cisco partner Vyopta demonstrated how Cisco® Lecture Vision and Vyopta vPublish, work together to manage the entire lecture-capture process, from recording content to managing media assets to streaming on demand. Read how San Jose State University is using this tool to deliver 51 next-generation learning spaces across campus.

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Deep Dive: Mobility Services APIs (with Sample Code!)

Last week, my colleague Rajiv walked you through an overview of how our Mobility Services API now supports REST based APIs. As a developer for the Mobility Services Engine (MSE) team, I am very excited about this update because it means that it will be easier for developers to create apps using the MS-API, which hopefully means that more and more organizations will be able to take advantage of the location-based services and functionalities of the MSE. I’m going use this blog to walk you through some of the more technical aspects of the change.

The Basics

The REST API is now widely used in the field of API based web applications. The REST stands for REpresentational State Transfer. It is an architecture that is based on set of six rules, and APIs that support REST follow all those rules, making them RESTful.

Compared to SOAP, REST has better performance, scalability, simplicity, modifiability, visibility, portability, and reliability. For secured REST API transactions, HTTPS is recommended.

RESTful Mobility Services API

7.5 applications, including features from the Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution such as Browser Engage and CMX Analytics, are now supporting REST APIs in addition to the existing SOAP APIs previous releases (backward compatibility).

CMX utilizes the basic authentication scheme to authenticate each REST API request. It utilizes the Authorization header in the HTTP packet. The Authorization header is composed as follows:

– Username and password are combined into a string “username:password”.
– The resulting string literal is then encoded using Base64.
– The authorization method, a space and the string “Basic” is then put before the encoded string.

The API credentials can be accessed from Prime Infrastructure (PI), which manages CMX (page is located under Mobility Services > Specific MSE > System > Users).

As Rajiv mentioned last week, the Mobility Services REST APIs can be grouped in the following way:

–          MAP APIs

–          Real time location APIs

–          Location history APIs

–          Notification APIs

Let’s break them down with use cases to get a better picture of when you’d use which. Read More »

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Advanced Use of CMX at the Internet of Things World Forum in Barcelona

The inaugural IoT World Forum closed today in Barcelona with the overall sentiment being that it was a resounding success.

One of the key messages that emerged was the need for everyone to work together and for the customer solutions of the future to be drive by business outcomes or capabilities, rather than by what it takes to deliver them or the underlying components or technologies. Increasingly business leaders are making their purchasing decisions by prioritizing business value and business relevance.

Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences was highlighted at the World Forum and is seen as one of the key pieces of the overall IoT jigsaw.

Some very interesting use cases for CMX and its capabilities were showcased this week. In a previous post I spoke about the Smart City Tour and how CMX is used in an innovative manner within the city and how brands can take advantage of CMX to engage their customers in creative ways. In another post I spoke about how CMX was used within the IoT venue and the analytics that were available for all to see on the event jumbotron.

There are a few more (yes, even more–with CMX, the possibilities of deployment are endless) ways that we wove CMX into the IoT experience that’d I’d like to share with you in my final IoT World Forum string of posts.

One of these was using CMX within the City of Barcelona as a key dashboard of information for the municipal authorities. Here is a view of the Born area part of the old Gothic section of the city and a major tourist destination in the city. We can see here that over 6600 devices where detected with an average dwell time of 8 minutes.

iotwf11 Read More »

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The Dark Side of Technology

Cisco Champions ask Challenging Questions.  This is the third and final blog in our series presented by Carlos Dominguez and Jimmy Ray Purser. You can read the first blog by Carlos addressing connectivity and the less tech-fortunate here and the second blog by Jimmy Ray on the future of the CCIE here.

I recently had an opportunity to sit down with our Cisco Champions to discuss a range of topics and this was by far the most interesting question as it was inspired by high school students. High school teacher, Hector Albizo’s students wanted to know:

 “What is currently considered the dark side of technology?”

Indeed a great question!  Technology has a ying and yang.  For every good there is a dark side.  Let’s look at history to see examples.  The axe was created for chopping down trees, keeping us warm with fire wood and  building things, all good results that we benefit from.    On the dark side, it became a weapon of war.  The same trend is true for technology. Read More »

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Cisco CMX Solution In Action at the Internet of Things World Forum

Today’s events at the IoT World Forum included a very interesting keynote address by Cisco’s CEO John Chambers, as well as some exciting breakout sessions. Leading business executives shared their ideas and visions, which in turn are shaping IoT across their industries.

It’s been a special treat to show off the power of the Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution to attendees at the event. We deployed CMX in the beautiful event venue, during John Chambers’ keynote, and during break out sessions. Let’s take a closer look at how attendees have been seeing CMX in action:

IoT Venue: Hotel Arts

IoT World Forum is taking place at the Hotel Arts on the seafront in Barcelona. The lower ground floor houses the Keynote room, the conference rooms, registration, demo showcase and partner rooms.

The latest version of CMX, V7.6, in a pre-release form has been running at the Hotel Arts IoT venue all week. CMX allows organizations to gather and analyze aggregate location data on devices from their Cisco Wi-Fi network. For example, we can see device count and dwell time in total and by location.  The new CMX analytics dashboard (available with CMX 7.6, to be released later this year), looks like this:

iotwf5 Read More »

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