It seems customary around the December time frame to look back over the year and chart the highlights and successes. The challenge with doing that for a programme like Cisco British Innovation Gateway (BIG) is there are so many areas that one could review.
That said, the key highlight for me has to be the opening of the fantastic Innovation and Digital Enterprise Alliance London or IDEALondon a facility that Cisco recently opened in partnership with University College London, and DC Thomson, in the heart of Shoreditch. The team behind IDEALondon have done a fantastic job in creating a location that provides a welcoming and collaborative space for start-ups and entrepreneurs to develop and grow. I strongly believe, based on the evidence of what I have seen already, that we are going to see a number of the individuals and companies come out of the facility go onto make a big, positive impression within the UK economy.
Despite only having been open for a couple of months now, a number of great events have already taken place there, including the second year of the Cisco BIG Awards. Having been involved in the initial judging stages of both years, it has been interesting to see the difference in the ideas coming through. This year, for example, there have been a lot more ideas focused on the Internet of Everything, an industry that offers huge potential. Today, there is something in the region of 15 billion devices (give or take a billion or two) or things connected to the network. By 2020, it is expect that we will have something in the region of 50 billion devices connected.
While some of that will be the continuing growth of the tablet and smartphone market for example, it will also be the acceleration of devices that where previously unconnected to the network. Examples of those at the more extreme end of the Internet of Everything that have hit the news recently have been the connected wig and the connected fork. While both of these ideas actually have a lot of merit once you look beyond the initial, potentially comical, concept, the reality is that there are some macro economic challenges that society and governments around the world are having to contend with over the coming years that the Internet of Everything can help address. One example of such a macro economy challenge is the increasing aging population in the UK and the pressure that will put on to the existing healthcare infrastructure. A good example of that would be the winner of the 2013 Cisco BIG awards, uMotif, a cloud based, self managed health application that can be accessed via a smartphone or web browser.
UMotif plans to white label the platform to healthcare providers, GP surgeries, hospitals, nutritionists and care homes. This, combined with NHS England and the government’s call for open data, will provide a key enabler in one of the real benefits, not so much from the connection itself, but from the data it produces, or the ‘big data’. The massive amount of unstructured data that will be available, providing us with insight and knowledge we never thought possible before.
For me, one of the reasons I find the vision of the ‘Internet of Everything’ so exciting is the fact that this is an opportunity for organizations big and small, to help develop an evolving landscape, one that will truly transform the world around us, and one that offers BIG potential.
This is the first in a two-part blog series that examines the opportunities that cloud-based services offer to law enforcement agencies—along with the challenges of this fundamental shift in the way information resources are managed.
Police forces have a well-established culture of owning and managing systems directly founded on concerns about security and control of access to information. Three trends, however, make this position unsustainable:
Traditional models for acquiring and running systems, which slow the pace of innovation
Pressure to reduce costs
Increasing need to form partnerships with other police agencies, public-sector bodies, and the private sector. Partnership depends on information sharing and open approaches to developing systems.
One of the most radical—and successful—cloud-based public-safety and security services is Facewatch. Using a network-based model, Facewatch provides an online reporting tool that allows U.K. businesses and citizens to report crimes and attach video evidence. The service enables crime victims to cancel credit cards instantly through Facewatch’s partners; allows users to share images of wanted people; and provides a channel for feedback from the police on the outcomes of cases.
Facewatch offers immediate benefits to the public, businesses, and law enforcement:
Citizens: ease of reporting and rapid management of associated processes
Businesses: less time required to deal with incidents
Law enforcement: reduces or eliminates the need to interact directly with premises to recover video footage
For all users, there is greater transparency about processes and reporting on outcomes, as well as the ability for communities to share information about wanted persons and crime trends.
It’s incredible to think that we are only a month away from closing entries for this year’s BIG Awards. This is the second BIG Awards competition we have run in the UK since the British Innovation Gateway programme was announced in January 2011 by Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers and Prime Minister David Cameron.
The annual open innovation competition identifies and offers financial and mentor support for the next generation of the UK’s digital entrepreneurs and startup companies.
It seems like yesterday that we were at the top of the Gherkin, launching this year’s competition and hearing about the great progress that last year’s winners – Snap Fashion, Digital Shadows, and Six 3 – have made over the past 6 months. Now the sun has come out (briefly), the football season is over, and we start to think about summer and the announcement of our 20 short-listed semi-finalists.
I recently returned from visiting the world’s Wi-Fi laboratory – the United Kingdom. Everywhere you look in the United Kingdom, there is a sign promoting the availability of Wi-Fi, and my mobile device was constantly identifying a long list of available hotspots. The world’s oldest subway system – affectionately known as The Tube – even allows you to connect to the Internet as you await your train hundreds of feet below historical London. Visitors from around the world at the Summer Olympics were greeted with high-speed Wi-Fi access throughout the Olympic venues, allowing them to enhance their experience with instant access to additional information, videos, and communications through their mobile devices.
Our recent Cisco IBSG research, What Britons Want from Wi-Fi and Mobile, reveals that Britain is definitely leading the way in the availability and use of Wi-Fi. Our study confirms that Britons seem to be content with coverage in first-tier locations such as coffee shops, hotels, and restaurants, but are now looking for Wi-Fi to be just as pervasive in other places where they spend their lives. Hospitals, bus stops, retail stores, pubs, and the High Street (or city centers) top the list of additional locations where Britons would like to access Wi-Fi.
The study revealed that mobile devices are now Wi-Fi-enabled “nomadic” devices. Britons own an average of 2.6 mobile devices, almost all of which are Wi-Fi-enabled. Britons spend an average of 2.6 hours per day using their mobile devices in their homes, compared with only 0.6 hours per day in a typical “mobile” on-the-go world. Read More »
Service providers in developing countries have the potential to kick-start economic growth by helping small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) take advantage of information and communications technology (ICT), especially cloud services. The “greenfield” nature of ICT in many emerging economies creates the opportunity to “leapfrog” to cloud computing.
For some time, governments have recognized the role of broadband in supporting economic development. The World Bank states that for every 10 percent of broadband penetration in a developing economy, there is typically a 1.38 percent increase in GDP.
Each year, there have been tangible improvements in broadband networks across emerging markets. However, in Read More »