Home A Sensor In Every Chicken: Cisco Bets on the Internet of Things

A Sensor In Every Chicken: Cisco Bets on the Internet of Things

A few months ago we wrote about how big-name companies are starting to talk about the Internet of Things – a term for the network formed by real-world objects connected to the Internet – indicating that the idea is picking up speed.

Today Chief Futurist for Cisco Systems Dave Evans appeared on the company’s netcast, Talk2Cisco, to answer questions about the next 50 years and beyond via email and Twitter. Turns out one of the world’s biggest technology companies is betting the Internet of Things is going to be big.

There are already about 35 billion devices connected to the Internet, Evans said, far outnumbering the number of human users. And there are well over a trillion devices with network potential, he said, including cars, home appliances and tags for livestock and pets. This will make for a “thinking planet” of objects and computers with access to real-time data, Evans said.

One imminent use would be making home energy use more efficient by eliminating power used by devices when they are idle, he said.

Cisco designs and sells electronics, networking and communications technology and services. The company is currently working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to place sensors all over the planet that collect real-time information about climate change.

Evans also mentioned HP’s Central Nervous System for the Planet, or CeNSE, a project to place a trillion push pin-sized sensors all over the planet as infrastructure for the Internet of Things.

Other predictions from Cisco’s Chief Futurist, who doubles as Chief Technologist, Internet Business Solutions Group:

  • by 2012, 90% of data will be video
  • by 2050, a computer with the computing power of nine billion brains will be available for $1,000
  • we currently only know about 5% of what we will know in 50 years

Evans said humans generated more data in 2009 than in the previous 5,000 years combined, although a lot of it is useless – comparable to saving all 2,000 photos from your weekend trip to the beach.

Therefore, filtering and sorting the exponential proliferation of data will become more and more important for computers, Evans said. And it will be even more important and possible for computers to interpret rich media such as photos and video. Google Goggles, an app that can recognize text, art and landmarks from images, is an early example.

The Internet of Things holds many possibilities for a network systems manufacturer like Cisco. It also looks like we may be needing a lot of those “50 thousand trillion trillion addresses per person” created by


to IPv6, the next generation Internet Protocol which uses a 128-bit address, after all.

Photo from flickr cc:darynbarry

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