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There's a new technological force sweeping the globe, potentially worth an estimated $14 trillion over the next decade. This same force has the potential to boost aggregate corporate profits 21% globally by 2022. This growing force is the Internet of Everything, or IoE.
What is it and why is it important?
The above estimates came from a report by Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO ) , one of many companies bringing the IoE to life. The below graphic, supplied by Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM ) gives a visual conceptualization of the Internet of everything:
The IoE is important because it's the next step in the Internet's evolution, where everything from appliances to automobiles will be connected with the capability to share data and communicate over the Internet.
Cisco believes that once nearly all of our everyday items and devices are connected, the human race will "unlock capabilities we haven't seen yet"-- revolutionizing everything from manufacturing to public transportation and making them more efficient. Inroads to establish the IoE are already being made.
The new face of home security?
Earlier this year, Cisco announced a partnership with AT&T (NYSE: T ) to help create the Digital Life platform, which will allow customers to manage home security, energy consumption, and other applications through a combination of AT&T's software and Cisco's wireless technology. The Digital Life platform is home security blended with the IoE, where customers will be able to monitor and control everything from their thermostats to motion sensors remotely from their PC or smartphone.
AT&T is also partnering up with Qualcomm to expand its reach into the IoE, creating a new platform for developers to create a range of cellular-connected products and applications for things such as tracking and health care. Chris Penrose, a senior VP with AT&T said that "This IoE development platform opens a world of opportunity for equipment makers who want to connect their devices to the mobile Internet... Wireless connectivity makes products better, and this IoE development platform makes it easier for both existing and new AT&T developers to embed wireless into their products."
The new platform will run on Qualcomm's Gobi QSC6270-Turbo Integrated Chipset, a modem solution for 3G. According to a press release, it will allow developers to decrease time-to-market for a wide range of applications and devices to connect to the AT&T mobile Internet.
The telecom giants's foray into the IoE is smart, because as more devices become connected, there will be an increasing demand for security as well, and the company is getting the first-movers advantage by leveraging its network with Cisco's technology to develop its Digital Life ecosystem. The company is also opening up IoE innovation centers to attract developers for its new platform and working with the assistance of Qualcomm.
Improving locational services
Qualcomm is also working in conjunction with Cisco, to improve existing Wi-Fi and location-based services. Cisco's CTO, Bob Friday, explained to FierceBroadbandWireless "The theory is that Qualcomm has a very large footprint in the mobile device ecosystem, and Cisco has a very large footprint across the Wi-Fi ecosystem in terms of venues. Qualcomm and Cisco together enable a better indoor-location experience with the client and the network together. And we can enable a better local service delivery experience."
The services will run on Qualcomm's IZat platform that utilizes chips capable of using Wi-Fi, cellular, and GPS signals to determine a user's location. These chips will integrate with Cisco's wireless access points and network to deliver indoor-location information with real-time analytic technologies. This analyzed information will then be used to deliver personalized mobile services and content.
Bob Friday said that, "When people walk into a venue, they should be able to get to information that's relevant to them within two clicks on their mobile device... You should be able to tell the mobile device, here's the local service I'm interested in, and here's how I want to be notified."
This is the vision that Qualcomm and Cisco have of the future, and it's likely that leveraging location-based services with the IoE will dramatically change how content such as online coupons are delivered to wireless users.
The bottom line
The Internet of Everything is coming, and three premier players that will greatly benefit are Cisco, Qualcomm, and AT&T. Each company trades below 14 times forward earnings, which means you won't have to break the bank to acquire them, either. Each pays out a dividend as well, with AT&T the highest yielder at over 5%. Cisco's dividend is around 3%, with shares of Qualcomm yielding around 2%. Investing in all three will give you adequate exposure to the developing IoE boom and a nice source of passive income.
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