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Cisco TelePresence Turns Cities “Smart”

June 2, 2011 at 8:54 am PST

A trip to the DMV -- a thought that causes mild apprehension and dread -- can require a lofty time investment. By lofty, I mean that if you go on your lunch break, don’t count on being home for dinner. It’s just one of those necessary hassles we’ve come to grudgingly accept.

But behold the DMV in the energy efficient city of the future, and behold it from your living room couch: a Cisco TelePresence connection that lets you renew your license in your PJs. No emissions from the drive to the office. No lines once you get there, which helps to conserve your energy -- and sanity.

It’s all part of the development of Smart Cities —energy efficient urban centers of the not-so-distant future. With telepresence, Cisco is on the cutting edge of these cities’ evolution.

Witness Songdo, South Korea, a new city built with the “greenest” of standards. Cisco is working with Songdo’s developers to put telepresence technology in every home, with the aim of reducing energy consumption. At the GigaOm GreenNet conference in April, Cisco’s Marthin De Beer discussed telepresence’s role in Songdo and 100 other urban development projects, including a retrofit of Charlotte, North Carolina. In Charlotte, Cisco partners with the city and its utility to decrease building energy use by 20 percent.

De Beer noted in his remarks that telepresence has saved Cisco $800 million in travel expenses during the last five years, writes Greentech Grid’s Eric Wesoff. Translate those savings into municipal dollars, and you find more money for education, infrastructure, and countless social services. Cities adopting Cisco TelePresence technology stand to not only curb energy consumption, but also to enrich the lives of their residents (and DMV employees) in many ways.

I don’t know about you, but the grass sure is looking greener on the smarter side of town.

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Video and Virtualization: Just Another Day at Citrix Synergy

May 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm PST

If what I saw at the Citrix Synergy conference in San Francisco this week is any indication of what will be coming soon, I’d better invest in a personal hairstylist.

With video becoming more and more prevalent on the network, whether it be mobile phones, Cisco Cius and other tablets, IP phones, or TelePresence – there isn’t a question of whether or not video is here to stay. But one question remains: Is your network ready? (And maybe one more question: how does my hair look?)

If your customers haven’t prepared their networks yet, here’s something that might give them the extra boost that they need: Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecasted that videos will account for 90% of network traffic by 2013.

By selling Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI), you’ll help customers prepare for that change. We visited the Cisco booth at the conference and caught up with Cisco’s Operations Director Jeff Platon. He gave us a full tour of the end-to-end VXI system with products that utilize high-definition video.

Watch the full tour:

What else did we see at Citrix Synergy? Read More »

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Humanizing Education Through Video

May 24, 2011 at 11:44 am PST

What if Isaac Newton had owned a video camera? Suspend your disbelief a little more … what if he used that camera to record himself teaching calculus lessons and then posted those lessons on YouTube?

Well, if Newton had done these things, then Salman Khan “wouldn’t have to,” as Khan said in a March TED Talk. Since Newton pre-dated the digital era, Khan took it upon himself to fill the gap with his brainchild, Khan Academy, the world’s first video-based virtual school.

Read More »

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Transatlantic TelePresence Chat with Guy Kawasaki #ideaimpresa

May 19, 2011 at 12:49 pm PST

I love it when technology helps connect people. I love it when I can finally see the person I’ve been talking to on the phone and via email for months. I love it when distance becomes irrelevant in sharing knowledge and opinions in real time….even when we’re continents apart.

That’s why I loved every minute of yesterday’s virtual event our Italian team (@CiscoItalia) hosted with Guy Kawasaki (@GuyKawasaki). The concept was simple: connect ~30 Cisco guests in Italy with US social media personality, Guy Kawasaki for an hour of social media pow wow. Did I mention without any travel? The event was delivered over TelePresence in 3 different locations: Milan, Rome and Santa Clara TelePresence Suites (@TelePresence) as part of the Italian team’s #ideaimpresa initiative. This program aims at showcasing new ways to collaborate – wherever we are.

Questions ranged from tips for small medium businesses (SMBs) to the ever-so-popular question: are we overwhelming our fans and followers with information? Guy had an interesting point of view Read More »

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Filling the Void: School Districts Embrace Telepresence to Save Money and Share Resources

May 19, 2011 at 6:55 am PST

With budgets tighter than ever, school administrators are finding new ways to collaborate with other schools and districts hundreds of miles away.  Instead of spending money on flights and hotels to travel across the state and share best practices with others in their field, teachers, principals and superintendents in several California schools are now using telepresence to get that same face-to-face interaction without leaving town.

Fontana Unified School District (FUSD) in Southern California, for example, is a huge district – 41,000 students at 40 schools across 25 miles. FUSD is the latest school district to incorporate telepresence in order to offer their students the best programs possible — and not only prepare them for college, but also prepare them for the real world.  In such a large district, telepresence is a vehicle that allows the district to offer the same opportunities to every student at every school, and save time and money because administrators don’t have to travel across town for meetings.

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