In the months since I attended the Smart Cities event organized by Qualcomm and CommNexus in San Diego, the buzz about “Smart Cities” and the use of machine-to-machine (M2M) wireless technologies has only grown louder and more intense. Which Smart City-relevant innovations are under development inside Qualcomm?
Known primarily for mobile chipset technologies, Qualcomm is working to optimize wireless networks and sensors that support M2M solutions and, ultimately, Smart Cities of the future. An often-overlooked part of this initiative is the company’s work in preparing the wireless industry for the imminent tsunami of data that will come when countless “things” equipped with M2M wireless sensors—part of the “Internet of Everything”—hit wireless networks. Qualcomm calls it the 1000x Challenge, referring to wireless industry predictions about a 1000x increase in mobile data usage between 2010 and 2020.
Last month, Qualcomm Executive Vice President and CTO Matt Grob presented at Meeting of the Minds 2012 in San Francisco. His presentation, “Next Big Innovation: The Mobile Internet Transformation—Meeting Network Capacity Needs of Cities,” showed how wireless connectivity is revolutionizing the way people live and interact with each other in cities.
A few examples of Qualcomm tech in this arena:
- From Qualcomm’s perspective, a “smarter grid” employs digital wireless technologies that allow utility companies to safely and securely deliver prepaid electric services that save homes and businesses money through real-time monitoring of power usage over existing cell networks, thus reducing deployment costs for the utility and saving energy for the planet. At the same time, smarter grids enable customers to better manage their own energy usage.
- One recent Smart Grid example is Qualcomm’s work with Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the United States. The success of this collaboration has enabled Duke Energy to install hundreds of thousands of communications nodes, which interface with electric and gas meters, line sensors, transformers, and other end points, meters, sensors, and distribution automation equipment, and optimize energy usage in five states.
- Working with ECOtality, a maker of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, Qualcomm participated in The EV Project, the largest deployment of electric vehicles and charge infrastructure in history. The project, now in nine states plus the District of Columbia, leverages cellular technology incorporated into charging stations, enabling EV car drivers to easily find charging stations with their smartphones. Moreover, the solution allows users to reserve stations as well as receive alerts users when the charge is finished or if it the charge has been interrupted.
- Another exciting development, also involving EVs, is Qualcomm Halo’s teaming with Renault and Delta Motorsport in London. Qualcomm Halo, a subsidiary of Qualcomm, produces wireless charging mats that enable EV drivers to simply drive up and park over the charging mat—no exact alignment necessary (e.g., you have to line up your electric toothbrush perfectly on the charger in order for it to charge). Initially, the benefit is no longer having to deal with tangled charging cables. But looking beyond that, Qualcomm Halo envisions embedded chargers in the roadway. Even further out is the idea that these mats could be built into the road and connected to the overall Smart Grid. Depending on the time of the day, more or less energy resources could be devoted to that specific roadway, effectively channeling energy to where it’s needed most.
Cisco IBSG is also engaged with the Internet of Everything in a variety of ways, such as through the Connected Vehicle.
I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on how M2M connections—and the Internet of Everything—can enable Smart Cities of the future.
Tags: Cisco, connected vehicle, IBSG, infrastructure, Internet of Everything, IoE, living lab, M2M, Machine to Machine, Networks, services, smart cars, Smart City, Smart Grid, software, wireless
By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist
As I scan the news feeds for new technology trends, I keep finding myself coming back to developing economies in Africa and Asia. As mobile network operators expand wireless services in these regions and mobile phone ownership grows, people continue to find new and amazing ways to use mobile networks to solve unique problems. Take healthcare.
In many rural and remote areas in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia, patients suffer from a multitude of healthcare challenges: lack of skilled physicians, lack of access to healthcare technologies, and lack of personalized healthcare information. But if there were ever a set of problems that mobile technology could address, this is it.
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Tags: africa, Asia, Emerging Markets, mHealth, mobile applications, wireless
Mobility allows the expansion of Information Technology (IT) resources and application availability at anytime, anywhere, and in any possible way. Historically, many thought that “the movement” of bring your own device (BYOD) was simply a marketing tactic. However, BYOD is definitely a reality that has become crucial when trying to improve efficiency in the workplace.
Every single day a new mobile gadget is released to the market (for example, tablets, mobile phones, and many other mobile systems) and we all live in a connected world 24 hours a day 7 days a week. All these devices and social applications are introducing many security risks for enterprises and public sector organizations. These risks include threats of data theft, not only with very sophisticated attacks, but also with incidents as simple as just stealing mobile devices. Many of these devices can contain private and corporate information.
The question now is, how can we provide the benefits of improving user productivity and flexibility without compromising network security? The Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility client and the Cisco ASA 5500 Adaptive Security Appliances allow users to connect to their corporate network from any device based on comprehensive secure access policies. The Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client can work in conjunction with the Cisco IronPort Web security appliances and provides integration with ScanSafe.
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Tags: anyconnect, byod, Cisco ASA, cisco live, mobility, security, wireless
The question isn’t IF your users will need more bandwidth, but WHEN they will need more bandwidth. 802.11ac represents the next evolution of the 802.11 standard, and, as you’ve heard, this one really pegs the gas petal in the quest for speed. Offering a link-rate of up to 1.3Gbps, 802.11ac represents the first wireless standard that surpasses the gigabit barrier.
But what makes 802.11ac unique isn’t just bandwidth. The new standard represents a forced push to the cleaner 5GHz spectrum, as well as extended battery life, made possible by getting devices on and off the air more quickly. To learn more about the technical details under the hood of 802.11ac reference this whitepaper.
Cisco’s Aironet Access Point 3600 and an alpha version of the 802.11ac module were demonstrated during Cisco’s presentation during Wireless Field Day 3 (the demo occurs at timestamp 15:30 in the video). Keep in mind that this is a demonstration of a pre-released product so it is expected that throughput and functionality will change and likely increase when the product is available for customers in early 2013.
The test goal was to measure one client, one Access Point 802.11ac performance and leveraged Ixia’s IxChariot to generate UDP traffic over the air. The test was done in an open real world environment, so the achieved throughput is less than what would be expected in a clean RF environment typical of a benchmark test.
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Tags: 3600 module, 802.11ac, access point, aironet 3600, AP3600, application, bandwidth, broadcom, gigabit, IEEE, link-rate, mbps, spectrum, throughput, wireless, wireless standard, wlan
It’s a fact – everyone wants wireless access. Recent research indicates that by 2015, more US internet users will be accessing the internet over their mobile devices than on traditional computers. With that many people online and on their mobile devices not having stable, secure wireless access is surely an impediment for companies as well as every day users. Companies leverage mobile devices to enable a more efficient workforce. Mobile devices are used to leverage “always-on” applications, increasing access for employees and as a better means of time management. Both of which increase employee productivity. Companies also often rely on their wireless network for regulating employee safety. Such is the case for the iron manufacturing company, North American Hoganas Inc.
With 11 production facilities across four continents in eight countries including the United States, where it staffs 250 employees, North American Hoganas Inc. needed to deploy an end-to-end wireless network in order to keep up with market demands and target new operational efficiencies. Up to the minute communication is vital not only for business operations, but also for the safety of their plant employees. Updating employees on risk assessments, proper product handling techniques, and work schedules are just some examples of mission-critical, daily communication from management to employees. There was one problem that stood between North American Hoganas Inc and a successfully deploying a pervasive wireless network: North American Hoganas Inc. itself.
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Tags: cleanair, interference, Manufacturing, pervasive wireless, rf, wireless, wireless network, wlan