Cisco’s Internet of Things

Over at “The Platform”, Cisco’s Dave Evans has posted a great infographic showing that communicating things—essentially embedded sensors —have already outstripped the number of communicating homo sapiens.

That happened in 2010.

By 2050 there will be 50 billion such devices—think coffee makers, cars, trains, refrigerators, gas pumps—that will be notifying and texting each other across the Internet.  Continue reading

Mobile World Congress Stream of Consciousness

Casa Mila, Barcelona/Wikimedia

Australian telco rejects femtocell … Intel CEO talks wireless electric lamp … Cisco’s WiFi fail at MWC … Vodafone to avoid closed vertically-integrated systems … Android booth has awesome slide … Euro operators are over-regulated …  HTC Desire S runs Gingerbread … Operators have their own app store …  Augmented reality navigation app

These are a few of the themes and memes that I picked up while checking out the Mobile World Congress web site and scanning Twitter hashtags. Continue reading

Deep Packet Inspection and Revolution

One of the corporate blogs I review on occasion is Cisco’s The Platform.

In a post published on Sunday, and in time for the press deluge coming out of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Cisco pre-announced its new “framework” for mobile operators, called MOVE or Monetization, Optimization, and Videoscape Experience.

Run of the mill marketing prose. My attention was instead engaged by a product referred to in some of the MOVE marketing material, Cisco’s ASR  5000  “gateway mutlti-media platform.”

The impressively engineered ASR 5000 could probably stop a Facebook inspired revolution at the speed of a mouse click. And as a propaganda minister, you wouldn’t have to take your country’s Internet off the grid to accomplish this.Continue reading

Cisco’s umi: Not for mi

Cisco’s marketing department has continued their cuddly product naming  with the announcement of umi (pronounced you-me) last week. It’s basically Skype or in Cisco-speak, “telepresense,” for regular folks.

And by regular folks they mean TV-watchers with an Internet connection but without a laptop and video camera.  I’m sure Cisco business development crunched the numbers and decided there’s a ton of money selling  $600 set top boxes with a $24.99 monthly charge to this segment.

The other perpetrators involved in this scheme include BestBuy, which will sell the gear, and Verizon, which plans to resell the service to its Fios customers.Continue reading

Avaya Flare: Can Android Enterprise Tablets Thrive?

As expected,  Avaya announced yesterday that its “chameleon” video device is in fact … a tablet computer. And not surprisingly it runs  Android OS (2.1 for the record). It is larger than Cisco’s previously announced Cius (11.6″ versus 7″). Both share a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processors. I can go on, but for a rundown of the specs, see Network World‘s nice comparison table.

The hardware and OS are just the stage and props for the real act: the “Flare Experience,” which is Avaya’s voice, video, and data collaboration extravaganza. And based on the slickly prepared video presentation I saw, it is a nicely designed app that makes unified communications—as it’s called in the enterprise world—a working reality. An “A” to Avaya on this effort.

I didn’t see a live demo of Flare in the hands of a reviewer, so it’s hard to know what this is really like. Keep in mind that Android’s Froyo (their latest release) is, in the words of Google’s director of mobile products Hugo Barra, “not optimized for tablet use.”

Another fact to consider: The Flare is priced— for now anyway—at somewhere between $1500 – $2000. Cisco’s Cius is pegged at around $1000.Continue reading

Cisco Cius: Unimaginative, but Slightly Intriguing

Cisco Systems Logo
Image via Wikipedia

Perhaps only a company of Cisco’s still considerable market heft can foist its recently revealed Cius (pronounced “see us”) tablet on the citizens of cubeland. Many of the tech bloggers are underwhelmed and ask the question, “Why?”.

This tech blogger has the same query. Once upon a time the gadgets in the office were not obtainable on the street; now consumer gadgetry is far better than what’s available or officially allowed in walled off corporate castles.

For the record, the Cius is a 7” tablet that supports a multi-touch screen, WiFi/BlueTooth, HD video (720p), HD audio, 8-hour battery, and front and rear (for taking pictures of your coworkers?) facing cameras. The company expects to ship the tablet in 1Q2011.

Price? Under $1000. (long pause) Now for the intriguing part: Cius will run a modified version of  the Android OS.Continue reading

Cisco Loses $3.7M Patent Suit

Cisco Systems, lnc.

A federal jury in Texas decided in favor of closely held Commil USA in its patent infringement suit against Cisco. Commill USA owns a fixed mobile convergence patent that was developed by an Israeli tech company, also called Commil.

The Israeli company, started by three engineers in 2000, gained early success with a networking architecture to switch calls between Bluetooth and cellular.

With the networking industry’s move to WiFi , Commil couldn’t develop a similar type of technology and the company was closed down by CEO Yuval Duvev.
Continue reading

Meanwhile Back at the Enterprise

I’ve been so focused on apps and trends outside of the office space that I thought I’d have a difficult time grokking the keynote speeches at  Voicecon 2010.   VoiceCon (now renamed to Enterprise Connect) is the place where business communication vendors announce their visions and initiatives for the coming year.

I’m happy to be misinformed in this case. Consumer-grade social media, open software,  and smartphone-like apps—areas I’ve been immersed in the last few weeks—are pretty much pre-requisites to enterprise communications coursework.  To varying degrees, Siemens, Avaya, Cisco, and Microsoft acknowledge, promote, and  support  micro-blogging, location information, transcription services, SIP, cloud-based software, and slicker interaces in their wares.

I took a quick tour through the recorded videos of the presentations given by Avaya, Cisco, Siemens, and Microsoft. A few impressions after the jump.Continue reading