8 Futuristic Internet Of Things Technologies You Won't Believe Inside Cisco Headquarters

Behind The Scenes At Cisco's IoE Showcase Room

Welcome to Cisco's Internet of Things playhouse, where at any one time, dozens of people are driving rapid innovations for the IoT solutions of the future.

Numerous IoT projects are constantly being created in Cisco's Internet of Everything (IoE) Showcase Room at its headquarters in San Jose, Calif. The showcase lab is filled with futuristic technologies and customer prototypes Cisco is crafting -- all revolving around IoT solutions. Cisco even has its own IoT spy kit, known as WARP, a briefcase-like container with supplies that developers can bring to remote sites to work on IoT projects.

Here are eight demos you probably didn't know existed, all inside Cisco's IoE Showcase Room.

The Lego City Of The Future

Cisco created this prototype of a connected city using Lego building bricks and Cisco equipment. The city made of Legos is being used to test a possible connected supply-and-demand-chain solution that includes a train set running around the periphery.

The company is homing in on what it terms Smart+Connected Communities, or Smart Cities, where everything is connected, from railways and school buses to streetlights and traffic-flow management.

The Future Gas Station

Cisco developers are working on changing the customer experience at the gas pump. This photo shows a 3-foot-tall mounted screen that future gas pump customers would see if they pulled into a Cisco-equipped gas station.

The gas station demo in the showcase uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) sensors with customer face recognition to test new ways to improve, and streaming of the gas pumping and payment experience, which could potentially boost a gas station's revenue by 30 percent, according to Cisco.

Cisco's IoE WARP Kit

Here is the IoE Warp Accelerated Rapid Prototyping (WARP) kit that Cisco says has everything you need to speed up the IoT innovation process. The kit contains idea-fueling supplies ranging from markers and wires to code samples and hardware, allowing Cisco teams to bring the kit along and build IoE solutions when they visit remote sites.

A Shopper's Roadmap

Pictured here is a demo screen of a shopper's route inside a grocery store. Cisco can collect data points throughout a shopper's experience, including where the shopper stops, what items he or she puts into the cart and how long the shopping trip takes.

Having this type of data can show the preferred route for the average shopper, which can give store owners insights on where they might want to place a specific item or deal they want customers to see. The prototype is being eyed by some large retailers, according to Cisco.

The Shelves Themselves

Cisco has a mock food shelf set up in the showcase room that uses Cisco gear to gather even more data from the product shelves themselves. This data can help managers determine how much goods are needed to stock the store.

The technology can also be used to figure out how many cashiers should be on duty during peak shopping hours as well as which checkout lines they should work at, depending on the products being purchased.

Hanging Sensor

Collecting all this data from a retailer -- in this example, a grocery store -- would be this prototype sensor that hangs from the ceiling. Pictured here is Ben Varghese, a technology consultant at Cisco Consulting Services, who is describing how the demo uses sensor and Cisco technologies to follow a shopper through a store to collect data along the way to determine things like popular shopping cart paths that lead to purchases.

Varghese said projects that previously would take upwards of two years can now be built and tested in the showcase room in a matter of days.

Oculus Rift And Cisco

The increasingly popular virtual reality Oculus Rift headset won't be used solely for recreational purposes, says Cisco. The networking leader is betting Oculus Rift will move into areas such as corporate training and other scenarios being tested in the showcase room. Cisco is looking into Oculus Rift's possibly running on Cisco equipment.

Connected Boardroom

The IoE showcase has eight large touch screens at its center connected to every demo in the room. There are sensors and cameras seemingly everywhere. The screens show all of the data being collected at any given moment. One screen, not connected to any of the demos, scans the faces of people in the room to guess their ages and other attributes.