Oct. 17--The Internet highway is busy today as the growing number of smartphones, iPads and other devices connect to the World Wide Web.
But it's only going to get busier and more dynamic as the world enters the "Internet of Everything," a Cisco Systems executive and technology expert told El Paso business people and high-tech geeks Wednesday at the BizTech 2013 conference.
The world is only in the start of the "Internet of Everything," when billions of things will be connected to the Internet, spewing out unfathomable reams of data that will be used to make cities, people, and even medicine smarter and add trillions of dollars in profits for companies worldwide, said Robert Pepper, vice president of global technology policy for tech-giant Cisco Systems.
He was the keynote speaker at the sold-out luncheon of the BizTech 2013 conference organized by the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at the Marriott Hotel near the El Paso International Airport.
"What we're forecasting globally is that in 2017, 41/2 years from now, in that one year, there will be more traffic across the global Net than the entire history of the Internet," which began in the early 1980s, Pepper said.
"What's driving this dramatic growth on the internet? Four things -- more people being connected, more devices per person, networks becoming faster and the applications are becoming richer," he said.
The Internet's "fifth wave" of development has begun, and in the next five to seven years the world will see billions, if not tens of billions of things -- from car chips to agriculture sensors -- connecting to the Internet, and generating zettabytes of data that can be used to improve the world, and help companies grow, he said.
It's begun with Proteus Digital Health's FDA-approved digital pills with sand-grain-sized, digestible sensors that send signals to smartphones to alert doctors' offices that a medicine has been taken, or not taken if the signals are not sent, Pepper said.
It's begun with Volvo using smart chips in cars to collect data on brakes, engines, and other parts to improve the car-manufacturing processes, he said.
"You have to apply analytics and learn from the data, so the data becomes actionable data," Pepper explained. "When it becomes actionable, it changes processes. When it changes processes, it adds huge value and effects people.
"When you have devices, and sensors, and things (connected to the Internet), you have predictive maintenance, smart grids, you have improved water supply, food supply, supply-chain management, transportation to our cities, health care," he said.
The "Internet of Everything" also could mean big bucks, he said.
Cisco did a study with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, and determined companies worldwide could add $14.4 trillion in additional profits over the next eight years if they moved to the "Internet of Everything" over that period, he said. The public sector could reap additional benefits, he said.
Cathy Swain, CEO of the Hub of Human Innovation, an El Paso tech-company incubator, said Pepper's message drives home the point that the proliferation of technology around the world creates many opportunities for entrepreneurs here and elsewhere.
"There are a lot of smart people here who know how to use it (technology)," Swain said. And El Paso's spot as a "logistics hub" can enhance future high-tech growth, she said.
Pepper said El Paso's strong broadband infrastructure makes it ready to handle the coming data onslaught. However, El Paso and other cities have more work to do to meet future Internet growth, he said. Experience has shown the infrastructure work can best be done through public-private partnerships, he added.
Vic Kolenc may be reached at 915-546-6421.
(c)2013 the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas)
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Original headline: Cisco exec to El Paso conference: 'Internet of Everything' will make world smarter and richer
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