Last week I was pleased to be part of a Cisco celebration of home-grown innovation. Our first-ever Party on the Patio showcased strategic innovations, underscoring that there’s no vacation for innovation this year at Cisco. The event included food, music, games, giveaways, and hands-on demos of some of the many ways Cisco is fostering innovation—from our nine global Innovation Centers, to hackathons, to working with drones and virtual reality. Here are some highlights:
Drones have the ability to change the world—but where is Cisco’s place? For the past year we’ve been incubating the idea of using fog computing to not only enable drones to communicate and coordinate with one another but also to act as a connector between the drone fleet operators, applications providers and customers. At the Party on the Patio we showed how a drone can send live video via TelePresence or WebEx to remote experts anywhere in the world.
HackIT is Cisco’s bi-annual global hackathon, which has produced creative solutions to a wide range of problems posed by Cisco leaders. The HackIT team showcased solutions from their latest security hackathon that are being developed in the IT incubator. Visitors got an early look at an Internet of Things solution that helps safeguard privacy in a world saturated with video surveillance cameras by blurring a person’s face to preserve privacy in the video stream.
Virtual and augmented reality for the enterprise was one of the winning entries in our internal Innovate Everywhere Challenge. The winning team gave visitors a first-hand look at some of the collaboration and training experiences made possible by building VR and AR applications on the Cisco Spark platform.
An interactive map showcased the work of our nine Innovation Centers around the world, where Cisco fosters co-innovation efforts with customers, startups, and academic institutions.
All in all, Party on the Patio was a fun way to highlight non-stop innovation at Cisco. We are continuing to find and fund innovative external startups through our 2016 Innovation Grand Challenge (now underway), and we’re about to kick off a new internal Innovate Everywhere challenge in a few weeks. These are just some of the ways we continue to seek out and highlight great ideas at Cisco.