The Cisco event ranged over a wide swath of areas from software-defined networks to silicon photonics.
Execs promised the Cisco ONE initiative will provide a consistent set of APIs to access the company’s three major operating systems used in an estimated $180 billion in installed communications systems worldwide. That will enable “an app ecosystem for networking,” said Dave Ward, a vice president of engineering in Cisco’s emerging technology group.
Ward also said Cisco has sent to select customers line cards using the silicon photonics and optical processing technologies it acquired with Lightwire and CoreOptics. He called silicon photonics “absolutely, positively the most interesting thing in ASIC technology today.”
Separately, Stephan Monterde, a senior Cisco technical manager, said the company is talking to large partners such as U.K. carrier Orange about collaborating on assessments of new technologies. Monterde runs the Cisco Technology Radar program that drafts quarterly reports on dozens of emerging technologies for the company’s internal use.
In addition, Ishwar Parulkar, a chief technology officer in Cisco’s service provider group, described his work leading the first system design to emerge from the company’s Bangalore office. The ASR 901 is a low cost, low power backhaul switch for cellular networks now available worldwide.
“Globally relevant products will emerge from places like India and China because they will see some problems first,” he said.
Similarly, Aglaia Kong, chief technologist for Cisco China, described the CE300, Cisco’s design for a tablet-like classroom computer. It is one of many efforts responding to large China-government contracts in K-12 education. The Linux system supports wired and wireless nets for a third the cost and a fifth the energy of a PC, she claimed.
Cisco’s tele-presence video conferencing system, shown at the press event, is now available in a software-only version certified to work with a handful of digital medical devices.
yeah, I'll believe it when I see it: Cisco heavily involved in low-margin products. Can you think of any company less culturally suited to being the $2 sensor in my flowerpot, or the fitbit/tracker in my cat's collar.
Even if 50 billion devices by 2020 is a reasonable prediction, to generate $14.4 trillion in sales means an ASP of $288 per device.
Move the decimal place one position to the left and then the 50B unit volume might actually happen.
The USD$14 trillion (who knows if that's realistic or not - I've seen forecasts of between USD$1.2 to USD$75 trillion) number cannot be measured in terms of the ASP of terminal devices. Indeed, the mean cost of terminal devices would need to be in the USD$2 to enable this market opportunity. The value is a measurement of what is enabled by a universal M2M/IoT infrastructure. And in those terms there is no reason to regard this kind of vision as unrealistic. But I'm not a social scientist so I can't comment on how to derive that kind of forecast. I can however describe precisely how low cost network infrastructure and terminal devices with an ASP of less than USD$2 can be realised using Weightless M2M technology.
These are M2M connections of IoT devices that instrument processes like the factory floor, utility grids and crop irrigation and a bazilloion other things.
People won't own their IoT nodes like they own smartphones.
M2M is not about human population. 50 billion connections is still only around ten connections per cellular phone user. Think how many you already have - I've done a quick audit around my home office just now - it's close to 30! There are a lot of cars, street lights, utility meters etc in the world that aren't connected. In fact, in a separate Cisco announcement, 99% of the world's devices are NOT yet connected to the internet.
Again they aren't saying it costs $14T to buy 50B IoT nodes.
They are saying there is $14T in business value (productivity gains, new customer experiences, etc.) to be had in installing the 40-50B nodes.
I don't know that I could get behind such a pie-in-the-sky prediction as $14 trillion without some sound evidence to back it up.
No question about it, though. It will be a huge market with a huge impact on just about everything. There will be plenty of $2.00 or $0.50 mini systems in flower pots, cat collars, greeting cards and pretty much everything else.
But, as Mark stated, much of that probably won't be made by Cisco. A good deal of it will be assembled in some distant no-name factory where labor is cheap.
There are two fundamental elements to this infrastructure - the base station end (the network) and the terminal end of the link. A Cisco (or similar) could be the type of company that could get behind the development of the network technology. The 'distant no-name factories' could develop a hugely diverse range of devices that could connect to these networks in the same way that multiple applications developers churn out apps for Smart Phones. To take just one example of an M2M application - Smart Meters: There are over 400 companies in 35 countries actively working on the development of Smart Meters for over 1.4 billion connections worldwide already.
Once a driver (say a Smart Meter or Smart Grid network) is in place, application developers will appear to exploit it. And with each base station in a Weightless network capable of supporting 100k+ connections the number is limited by our imagination. Today's iOS and Android apps demonstrate that our capability to imagine the future is initially blinkered.
The money won't be in the hardware, it'll be in the services provided.
I could see home monitoring subscriptions (like your alarm system today). Equipment service contracts. Cloud computing services to aggregate multiple sensor outputs and perform the necessary calculations that the low power sensors would not be capable of.
Definitely a solution looking for a problem, but if there is enough marketing hype, the problem will eventually be perceived.
The only REALLY likely market to come out of all this is all those electricity, water and gas meters needing to be read automatically at low cost, if only because public utilities generally have easy access to the capital needed to fund large projects. (The electricity meter's needs are somewhat unique because it tends to merge somewhat with general power distribution management or the "smart grid".) However because the data rates needed AT EACH METER are quite low it's unclear how such a network could be done efficiently. Some have envisioned an all-wireless "self-organizing" system (with individual nodes acting as data concentrators) and that no doubt could be made to work, but why would each utility need to fund its OWN network? It's also not clear why smothering individual OSes with a "universal API" helps reduce costs,
if the need could be demonstrated then this industry needs more of its own "Android-like" platform to build on, but it's not clear that the demand exists for even that. Maybe it would make more sense to "build out" these networks based on existing utilities, maybe it would make more sense to envision other models, for example you might consider something that would look more like the old "pager" systems in reverse (ie a central system COLLECTING small amounts of data when polled), maybe even accessed through the existing cable TV or internet distribution access system. In any event a 14 trillion dollar market looks just about absurdly optimistic.
I wonder how security will be provided for so-called "connect everything" IOT network. Nearly 20 years ago (long time, isn't it?). IPv6 designers included IPsec as standard feature for security, but IPsec is notoriously unpopular due to huge implementation diversity (=incompatibility) and difficult configuration.
Will "40Kbyte footprint" IPv6 stack support IPsec and IKEv2, or TLS1.0(likely, because SSL/TLS is selected for 6LowPAN architecture), or nothing at all?
Always being wary around April 1st I double checked the veracity of this $14.4 x 10E12 claim. Numerous other news source also reported Mr. Lloyd's remarks - I thought perhaps he meant Billion with a B as in 10E9 - nope - seven other news outlets say trillion as well and surprisingly, none challenged it. So either this is "the mother of universally coordinated April Fools spoofs" or a new pinnacle of "irrational exuberance". Don't get me wrong, I think IoT will be a very important technology but fourteen trillion+ in a little over 6.75 years? Compared to that the market growth of the iPhone looks like a flat-line dud!
It is the pinnacle of hyping IoT, in my opinion.
I think the Cisco thesis is valid: IoT could in a best case scenario extend beyond today's IT budgets to existing and new line of business budgets creating an expansion market. But $14T is clearly a grand wish.
Forecasting is a difficult art to pull off with credibility but there is little doubt that whether the M2M opportunity can add $1 trillion or $75 trillion to the economy it is inevitably going to be transformational. So instead of fixating on the numbers let's look at what the industry needs to do to realise the potential.
It needs a technology that is different to the legacy network infrastructures that exist today and one that is commercially and technically feasible. I'm going to argue that Weightless technology and the Weightless Standard are the keys to unlocking this potential. And I'll try to do that without writing a white paper into a comment field - there are resources on weightless.org to flesh out the arguments.
It needs a ubiquitous network infrastructure that offers price points per connection equivalent to PAN technologies such as Bluetooth, Zigbee & Wi-Fi but with the range of traditional 2G/3G/LTE technologies. And it needs to have been optimised from day 1 to address the specific needs of M2M that are fundamentally different to those for human communications...
The Weightless Standard defines in explicit detail how this can be done using TV white space spectrum and a completely new protocol to deliver a low cost network (fraction of traditional cellular), low cost hardware at the terminal end (around $2), low power (a ten year battery life from a primary cell) and exceptional signal propagation characteristics deriving a range of 10km and excellent building penetration.
The availability of a very large amount of bandwidth in the very high quality, low frequency, globally harmonised and license free TV white space spectrum is the catalyst for this transformational change. Dynamic Spectrum Access, deployed geo-locational database resources for TVWS, carefully considered regulation, spread spectrum transmission, cloud based network architectures, lightweight terminal processing requirements and a protocol designed from the ground up to support the specific needs of machine communications are the building blocks.
Sounds like an unobtainable utopian Shangri-La doesn't it. Until you consider that the FCC has already legislated for it, silicon is available to support it, the Standard is due to be ratified in two weeks and globally over 600 Members of the Weightless SIG are already engaged.
Happy to debate either here or on the Weightless LinkedIn Group.
Why do need to sprinkle sensors all over the planet except to pave the way for the new world order/Orwellian future? Are we developing the technology to enslave ourselves?
First we loose our privacy thru online databases (i.e. Big Data), now it's 24/7 monitoring in the physical world too.
Someone needs to slow this train down and think about the negative consequences.
"Why do need to sprinkle sensors all over the planet"
Careful and planned deployment of sensors all over the planet has the potential to improve our lives and invigorate the economy. None of us can deny technological progress because it might be used for ill. You're from Jersey - apparently - not North Korea. Perhaps the good could outweigh the bad?
There has long been a vision of a future of ubiquitous computing in which ordinary processes are instrumented by ultra low cost low power networked nodes.
I believe some of this will come true eventually, but how much and when is very hard to say.
I suspect some of it may never pan out because the momentum of doing nothing or letting an analog/mechanical process stay in place is very great.
I think this is coming true every day. One trivial example, the tire pressure in my car's four tires is monitored remotely all of the time. Along with the function of a host of other components in the car.
Does anyone think this trend will reverse itself? Of course not. Does anyone think we have reached a plateau? Why?
Whether all of this ever-more-ubiquitous computing will generate $14T by 2020, in new hardware and services, is anyone's guess. My bet is, the number was thrown out there to get the requisite "ooohs" and "aaahs," and heads nodding.
No question that there would be absolutely no incentive to to moving along this path, as we have been at the very least since WWII, unless people could make money from it.
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