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Top 5 Predictions for How Society Will Adapt to the Next Wave of Video Traffic

Last week, I tweeted about the Cisco® Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2010 to 2015. According to the report, worldwide mobile data traffic will increase 26-fold.

Two major global trends are driving these significant increases: a continued surge in mobile-ready devices such as tablets and smart phones, and widespread mobile video content consumption.

The Cisco study estimates that by 2015, there will be a mobile connected device for nearly every member of the world’s population.

So what does this mean? Well, for one thing, it’s a harbinger that it’s time to get our WAN architectures ready for the flood of video traffic. What happens when you don’t? Aside from the obvious—you deliver a frustrating and dissatisfying media experience—you also put other network applications at risk of going down.

If that’s not enough to spur you to take another look at your WAN, consider my top five predictions for what this tsunami of video traffic might lead to from a cultural trending perspective:

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Video for the neo-Luddite

I work for a technology company — in emerging technologies, no less — but keep finding myself on the end of the technology adoption curves.  It was 2000 before I got my first cell phone, and I’m still using a non-touch-screen Blackberry. Even my two-year old son looks at me with pity when he watches me use my phone.

Part of the reluctance stems from the need to learn (yet another!) interface.  It takes me back to the first time I used a WYSIWYG word processor and found myself wishing I could go back to WordPerfect 4.2: I’d committed the formatting tags to muscle memory already.

This “learning investment” in older technologies makes it harder to adopt newer technologies, even when they’re clearly superior.

But video is totally different.  Unlike other technological “innovations” in the past, it’s actually becoming easier to use.

Consuming video is easy:  just click on play. (Okay, unless it’s a Flash video on an iPhone.)

Interacting with video is easy: just use a phone interface or a touch screen. (No more remotes!)

Recording video is easy: just hit the big red button on the Flip camera.

Distributing video is easy: just plug the Flip camera into your USB port — no more fiddling with tape and converting formats.  Or take a video with your phone and upload it to Facebook.

In fact, it’s strange to NOT see someone I’m talking to.  I telecommute from home, and 90% of the calls I make are over video.  I do one-on-ones with my team members over video.  I meet with groups, sitting in telepresence rooms, over video.  I brainstorm with people spread over five different locations, all over video.

And all over a home broadband connection.  Using a touchscreen interface that even I find intuitive.

I can see the sceptical eyebrow lift, the thoughtful finger tapping, the distracted texting, the enthusiastic hand-waving.  Silent pauses don’t make me nervous anymore.  Everyone gets away with less multi-tasking, which means meetings get shorter and more productive. What a concept!

Most importantly, video makes me feel as relevant as being in San Jose.   Sure, I don’t get the water cooler talk (who has time for water cooler talk, anyway?) but I get to wear pajama bottoms.

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Cisco ūmi at the NHL Fan Cave This Weekend!

Cisco ūmi is embarking on a road trip today which will take us through California, North Carolina, New York and Washington, DC. During the Cisco ūmi “Get Together” Mobile Tour, we’ll be attending some great events, and we’re excited to get out and share the ūmi experience with even more of you!

Just imagine if you could wave to your mom from the Surf City Marathon finish line—even if she’s all the way across the country! And how about video chatting in such high definition that your friends can almost smell the glass of wine in your hand at the New York Wine Expo? Or celebrate a great win (or talk a little smack) with NHL fans around the country at the NHL Fan Fair event starting tomorrow, January 28, 2011 to Sunday, January 30, 2011.

Whether you’re sipping wine, catching a wave, running your heart out or cheering on your favorite NHL players, stop by the tour bus and check out the new way to be together. Cisco is the Official Technology Partner of both the NHL & NBA so look for ūmi at both their properties!

We’ll show you all the cool things you can do with ūmi and you can give it a whirl!

Make sure to stop by ths weekend to see which NHL player Cisco ūmi is bringing to you at the Cisco ūmi at the NHL Fan Cave!

We look forward to seeing you there!

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LifeEdited Contest Winners Announced This Thursday; ūmi’s Included!

Nearly two months ago, we gave our readers a mission: Design an ultra-low-footprint apartment in 420 square feet and have a chance to win up to $70,000 in cash, products and contracts for the best ideas. Some of you may have chosen to accept the mission; others may simply be intruiged to hear what exceptional ideas came out of it.

Since October of last year, Founder Graham Hill has been searching for the perfect idea, or blend of ideas, to renovate an apartment in New York City and live an environmentally-friendly life there. He began a LifeEdited contest asking people to create a 420sf apartment with an ultra-low footprint. With the belief that we all need to live in less space and have fewer possessions, he thinks we will save money, reduce environmental impact and live simpler lives.

On top of his specifications, we challenged entrants to add a Cisco ūmi telepresence system to their apartment designs. Why? Because Graham will be using Cisco ūmi to conduct business and connect with family and friends from his apartment while reducing emissions. Here are a few Cisco ūmi contest submissions that we wanted to share:

Hundreds of comments, 300+ submissions and 500,000+ page views later, the contest is over and Graham is ready to meet with the judges and select a winner. To watch Graham announce the winners live on Thursday, January 27 from 12-1 p.m. EST, tune in here:

AND, also make sure you check out this LIMITED TIME OFFER: Buy one ūmi at Magnolia Home Theatre at Best Buy, and get a second ūmi FREE!

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Women and Technology Empower Each Other

It is no secret that technology allows us to be more productive.  Living here in California, I can conduct a meeting with colleagues in India or Egypt while sitting in my living room.   I can answer email while sitting in the car waiting for my son’s soccer practice to finish.  I can leave work early to go grocery shopping, knowing that I can make up for it at home in the evening.

Juggling work and family may not be quite as convenient for many working women in Africa, Southeast Asia, or Latin America, where reliable power supply, affordable bandwidth, and cultural barriers may complicate their efforts.  Still, a growing body of evidence points to a symbiotic relationship between communications technology and the empowerment of women in emerging markets.  What’s more, it makes business sense to tap into and facilitate this virtuous relationship.  It’s a classic win-win situation, if it is done right.

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