This year really heralds the fourth evolution of the Internet: the Internet of Everything (IoE). The Internet first gave us basic connectivity and then a networked economy and immersive experiences, but today, IoE promises to be more disruptive, pervasive and vital to our lives than the Internet itself.
It has been predicted that everything in the future will be connected and "communicate" with one another. There is even a phrase for it: the Internet of Everything (IoE).
Last week, the World Economic Forum (WEF) released its annual flagship report on IT, the Global Information Technology Report (GITR). This year's report focuses on the risks and rewards of big data. An astounding number of technology transitions in the past 20 years have enabled millions of connections. The world wide web was just taking off in 1993.
Imagine a fleet of drones, overhead, out of sight, tens of thousands of feet in the sky. Imagine those drones being powered by sunlight -- effectively aerial satellites that are orbiting constantly, never having to touch down for fuel. Now imagine thousands of them with cameras and radio repeaters on board.
The World Economic Forum launched the 2014 Global Information Technology Report (GITR) today, and the annual assessment provides insight into two questions: where will see the next evolution of the Internet take hold, and how can we as a society improve on Big Data?
It doesn't take long to realize it's going to be one of those mornings. But thanks to the Internet of Everything (IoE) -- the explosion in connectivity that is transforming the world as we know it -- you'll find ease and efficiency in the most time-consuming tasks.
What will the future be like? As depicted in today's popular movies and books, the future is either one of bright promise or it's a dystopian world where today's problems have only gotten worse. It's my job to think about what the world will look like in a few years, and how our actions today will impact that future.
Imagine a future where learning happens spontaneously within and beyond the walls of educational institutions -- where you have immediate, contextualized access to what you need to know to improve every aspect of your life. In the future, massive connectivity will enable learning to be connected, integrated, flexible, and meaningful for all, everywhere, anytime.
In Jordan, through Cisco HealthPresence, doctors and patients can see and speak to one another from distant clinical settings as if they are face-to-face. Network-connected medical devices -- such as thermometers, stethoscopes, and handheld cameras -- route patient information from the clinic to the hospital for instant access to critical data by medical specialists.
There are about 10 billion connected things in the world today. In the next 10 years, that number will grow to 50 billion things, increasing the intelligence and value of all of these connections exponentially -- billions of things, but trillions of connections. In other words, in the Internet of Everything, as in life, it's not what you know, it's who you know.
When we talk about technology-enabled learning, most people probably think of online classes, which have had mixed results so far. But with connection speeds going up, and equipment costs going down, we can go beyond online classes to create widely accessible immersive, interactive, real-time learning experiences. Soon, time and distance will no longer limit access to an engaging, high quality education. Anywhere there is sufficient bandwidth, a student can attend lectures, ask questions, and participate in real-time discussions with other students.
According to a 16-year study by Idea Champions, only 3 percent of the 10,000 people they interviewed said that they come up with their best ideas at work. The other 97 percent said their best ideas come to them while they are in the shower, on vacation, taking walks, enjoying a glass of wine, or just doing nothing. While a highly structured, tightly scheduled workplace may foster productivity, a more relaxed, unstructured environment unlocks creativity.