Cisco’s Chambers: 2014 Will Be an Inflection Point for the Internet of Everything

Slick keynote wows attendees

Cisco’s John Chambers did Las Vegas proud with a slick, focused keynote heralding the arrival of the Internet of Everything. Complete with celebrity schtick from Sarah Silverman and seamless demos from the company’s chief demonstration officer (yes, that’s a real title), Chambers had one simple but powerful message: When it comes to the Internet of Everything, the lightbulb has gone on.

“In the last six to nine months, it’s like someone threw a light switch,” Chambers told a packed ballroom at the Venetian. “It isn’t just about connecting a car or a refrigerator; it’s the combination together that changes the process. 2014 is the year everything will start to change.”

Chambers pegged the potential economic impact of Internet of Everything adoption at $19 trillion.

The energetic president and CEO easily strolled among the press section of the audience as cameras clicked away capturing flattering Twitter pics. He regaled attendees with a vision of the future from connected, smart cities like Barcelona to smart homes provided by AT&T Digital Life in 59 cities.

Most telling for media, Chambers also demonstrated an infinite, cloud-based DVR system, which could fundamentally transform how providers deliver content and how viewers consume it. Could the Internet of Everything make a la carte a more cost-effective reality?

By the time Chambers wrapped, it was easy to get the impression that Cisco wants to be the Skynet for the Internet of Things.

“This is not about technology; this is about changing people’s lives. It will have to be simple to use, faster than before. It has to be secure, and it has to have privacy,” Chambers said.

As attendees left suitably wowed, they were handed an oversize coffee table book, The Human Face of Big Data, that (no surprise) has its own iPad app.