Steve Rogerson looks at some of the recent news that may have missed the front page. When I crossed the Atlantic to attend Cisco Live last month.
I did not expect to be hearing about sex-starved moths, but apparently the IoT is now being used to attack their libido to protect vineyards and orchards.
The moths lay eggs that turn into worms that eat the crops. You can spray pesticides, but that is becoming less acceptable. You can also spray the crops with a pheromone that kills the sex drive of the moths to stop them laying eggs. A bit like dad turning the living room light on when the teenagers are enjoying themselves on the sofa, according to Cisco’s IoT boss Rowan Trollope. He sounded like he was speaking from experience.
The pheromone is expensive though, so the farmers use sensors that detect the moths and automatically spray the pheromones when they are getting a little too randy. I suppose the next step is a smart home that does the same for teenagers.
Anyway, Cisco Live. This was big. Even the venue was big. The Mandalay in Las Vegas, a combined hotel, casino and conference centre, was bigger than some towns I have lived in. And the techies swarmed in with an unnerving eagerness. “It is summer camp for geeks,” said Cisco Senior Vice President Karen Walker, and few would argue.
One thing that pleased me was Cisco is at last calling it the Internet of Things rather than the Internet of Everything, a term I criticised many times mainly because it added unnecessary confusion. And it seems Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins was having just that problem: “I kept having discussions about the difference between IoT and IoE,” he said. So nice to be able to say, “I told you so”.
However, is the company going to make the same mistake again? Maybe not. Inbar Lasser-Raab, who looks after enterprise marketing, explained how the company came to use the term ‘digital transformation’. “It is what people are using on social media,” she said. So expect to see ‘LOL’ and ‘OMG’ in the company’s next technical brief.
Lasser-Raab was sharing a panel with, among others, Blaine Hunt, a top man at food outlet chain Panera Bread, and among his list of job titles – yes, he had a list – was EVP of GSD. He later explained this stood for Executive Vice President of Getting Sh*t Done. Now why can’t all job titles be like that?
Lastly, the show included the ‘Cisco Store’. This wasn’t somewhere to buy technology, but to buy clothing and gadgets. It was a souvenir shop. OK, there were some techy books for sale, which you could read while drinking from your Cisco mug, which you pulled out of your Cisco backpack while listening to music through your Cisco headset.