Mobile applications and sensors are commonly used to monitor traffic, health & wellness and incidents such as road traffic accidents. But what about the threat of catastrophic disasters such as earthquakes where the loss of life can be unprecedented?
The sun drenched, Californian city of Pasadena is known for hosting the annual Rose Bowl Football game. It is also located near the infamous San Andreas Fault (SAF). If you paid attention in geography class at school or if you’ve seen the latest Hollywood blockbuster, ‘San Andreas’ starring ‘The Rock’, you’ll know that this means the city is at risk from earthquakes.
Can ‘The Rock’ save the day?
It is suspected that one day California will be hit by The ‘Big One’. This is a hypothetical earthquake of a magnitude ~8 or greater that is expected to happen along the SAF. Such an earthquake will result in devastation to human civilization within about 50-100 miles of the fault in urban areas such as Palm Springs, Los Angeles and San Francisco. No one knows when ‘The Big One’ will happen because scientists cannot predict earthquakes with any precision. However, technology is providing them with data that in time will give Californian residents a fighting chance of survival.
Seismometers are highly sensitive instruments that detect seismic activity that occur before earthquakes strike. Unfortunately, due to their cost, the number of seismometers in California are limited. The Southern California Seismic Network operates just 350 seismic stations and the Northern California Seismic Network has a further 412.
With the threat of ‘The Big One’ forever looming, The Caltec Institute in Pasedena embarked on a project to determine how they could provide a blanket of cheap Seismometers across the state.
Their answer? Smartphones! Yes, really!
Research conducted proved that accelerometers found in most smartphones are sensitive enough to detect large earthquakes.
Creating the ‘Community Seismic Network’ – Caltech is encouraging residents to opt-in to turn their smart phones into mobile seismometers by simply downloading an application called ‘Crowdshake’ onto their android device.
Caltec have said: “if only 1 percent of users in the area opted into the scheme, that few hundred seismometers would be augmented by several hundred thousand additional sensors giving sufficient intelligent processing”.
So how does it work?
Upon downloading the mobile application an algorithm executes in the background of the mobile device. Algorithms are monitored and when seismic motion is detected by the accelerometer, a message is sent to a Cloud Fusion Center which includes the time, location, and estimated amplitude of the data that triggered the message.
The benefit of the Community Seismic Network is huge. A dense, city-wide seismic network could be used to detect earthquakes rapidly after they start and measure the strength of shaking accurately as it unfolds.
What would this mean to Californian residents? Well, it will enable immediate action to be taken to prevent damage, such as stopping trains and elevators, stabilizing the power grid, and deploying emergency teams.
This is an astounding example of the Internet of Everything! People, data, process and things coming together to save lives in real-time!
Whilst the application is currently a research prototype and not yet fully deployed for public use, Caltech anticipate that the capability of real-time early warning may convince users to download and install the application when it is readily available.
So quite simply, it pays to ‘get social’ especially on those days when ‘The Rock’ isn’t around the save the day!
The Next Big One: Detecting Earthquakes and other Rare Events from Community-based Sensors.
Tags: California, California Institute of Technology, Caltech, Cisco, collaboration, Dwayne Johnson, earthquake, education, Internet of Everything, internet of things, IoE, IoT, mobility, real-time data, San Andreas, social media, technology, The Rock
My previous blog post considered enterprise agility and our individual responsibility to take some level of ownership by being more present and connected. This week at UC Expo in London I met many industry colleagues, and it sparked off some interesting conversations.
Two themes emerged that made me think about what work might look like in ten years time:
1) Balancing artisan creativity with the art of making money
We agreed that the mass-market appeal and adoption of some technologies and devices have lead to quite bland output by some teams. We have, to some degree, lost the ability to be creative at scale. The pressure of time and money and the corporate iteration process often distil the essence of something beautiful down into something quite vanilla – generic tools often force us down the road to blandness.
Thankfully, some emerging approaches and technology are starting to Read More »
Tags: Big Data, Cisco, collaboration, corporate social responsibility, education, innovation, technology, unified communications
Creative. Problem Solver. Team Player.
These could easily be a part of a job description in LinkedIn, but for me these words describe the group of 5th and 6th graders I had the privilege to meet last week.
Through a Cisco volunteer program called Programa Escuela, elementary school students have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the latest technology from Cisco employees: from connecting things through the Internet of Everything to how cities are becoming “Smart.” This is especially relevant to the classrooms we visited in Barcelona as their community is continually referenced in the Smart City space.
The goal of the program is to teach children about technology, inspire them to keep up their studies, especially around STEM-related areas (science, technology, engineering and math), and to engage them in a hands-on project where they can apply their knowledge. They also receive coaching and mentoring around project work and communication skills.
Read More »
Tags: #IoEforsocial good, children, Cisco CSR, corporate social responsibility, stem, technology
I speak with customers every day and often hear they are confused by conflicting vendor claims, marketing hype and embellishments. This is especially true when discussing SDN, where both the technology and the market have evolved significantly over the past few years.
I’ve invited Frank D’Agostino, one of Cisco’s top technical experts on SDN, to join me in separating fact from fiction. Frank and I are on a mission to debunk trendy technology myths, and this is the first in a three-part video series that we’ll bring to you over the next week.
In this first episode, Frank and I discuss the differences between Cisco’s ACI and VMware’s NSX. Frank is in a unique position to discuss both technologies, since he’s the only expert that has been deeply involved in the development of both NSX and ACI.
We think that ACI and Nexus is the most complete solution on the market. It does everything customers want from SDN, while offering more capabilities than NSX, and being two to three times less costly in typical customer configurations.
Cisco also collaborates very closely with our customers on technology, and we work with a wide variety of industry leaders, including competitors, to offer the best level of technology integration and interoperability. The reality is that the choice between ACI or NSX is not “either or:” if customers want both, NSX can run on ACI just like any other application, and in fact NSX will run better over an ACI infrastructure than over any other infrastructure on the market.
Take a look at our first video below, and then compare for yourself which solution makes the most sense from the perspective of cost, performance, scalability, and features.
We look forward to reading your comments and feedback.
Tags: ACI, application networking services, data center, products, SDN, technology, virtualization
Recently, I have been reading about organizational evolution. There are some great articles and insights out there, but the common theme running through all of them is that we face an unpredictable future and we need to be agile.
The pace of change is accelerating, and the modern agile organization will need answers for three key questions:
- What type of technology is going to be required?
- How will IT be delivered, and by whom?
- Where do we fit in? Us, people.
The Internet of Everything will enable the next great wave of growth. The technology within this wave will connect people, process, data and things. So much value will be realized and this transition will rely on key underlying technology development around cloud, security, mobility and networking. Of course, there will be great products and services, but Read More »
Tags: cloud, collaboration, innovation, Internet of Everything, internet of things, IoE, IoT, mobility, technology, unified communications, video