Monday, January 8, 2007

Cisco Outlines Vision of the "Human Network"

In a keynote address at CES in Las Vegas, Cisco CEO John Chambers outlined the company's vision of connected people and devices, the inevitable trend as consumer electronics makes the transition from analog to digital and become Internet enabled. Through its marketing and in its product development, Cisco is emphasizing "the human network" -- where content follows people wherever they go. Chambers demonstrated seamless handovers of a media file playing first on a car stereo, then a mobile phone, and finally a home audio system. The network tracks the users, preserving content and preferences across a range of devices.

The last wave of networking was driven from the Service Provider down to the consumer, but the next wave is being driven from the consumers up. Cisco hopes to leverage this trend through initiatives such as its recent deal with the Oakland As, helping to build new consumer experiences, and new revenue streams, through social networking. Cisco is also looking to push its life-size tele-presence systems from large enterprises to small businesses and soon to home users. The intelligence to deliver these consumer experiences will move into the network, said Chambers.

Some Cisco related news from CES:

  • Linksys announced its newest PowerLine networking products that are designed for HomePlug AV. The Powerline AV Ethernet kit comes with two Powerline AV Ethernet Adapters and two Ethernet cables. The first adapter can connect with the included Ethernet cable into a broadband wired or wireless router via the LAN port on the router, then the adapter plugs into a power outlet in the wall. The second Powerline AV Ethernet Adapter can then be plugged into a computer other networked device with the Ethernet cable via the Ethernet port and the other end of the adapter is then plugged into a power outlet within the home.

  • Linksys introduced its Wireless-N Gigabit Gaming Router (WRT330N). It includes four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, one Gigabit WAN port and an industrial design tailored specifically to the gamer audience. An optimized Quality of Service implementation within the router examines network traffic based on customizable settings and gives gaming packets the highest priority.

  • Linksys announced its entry-level networked attach storage solution, the Network Storage System with 2 Bays (NAS200). It includes two 3.5 inch SATA drive bays and two USB slots for additional storage capacity.

  • Scientific Atlanta demonstrated several products to help enable cable operators comply with the FCC regulations, including its Multi-Stream CableCARD and a range of set-tops, from standard-definition digital-only to dual-tuner high-definition (HD) digital video recorders (DVRs), as well as software solutions for both systems and clients. The removable security cards handle conditional access to and the encryption of premium cable channels.

See also