10 Futuristic Technologies You Need To See Inside Cisco Headquarters

Behind The Scenes At Cisco

Walking around Cisco's headquarters in San Jose, Calif., makes you feel like you're in the office complex of the future. The networking leader has all of its newest technologies on display to touch, feel and interact with.

At its 2015 Global Editors Conference earlier this month, attendees were granted access to several buildings of Cisco's spacious campus, including its Customer Experience Center, where the Internet of Things and collaboration technologies shined bright. CRN also found some surprises, such as employees roaming around without human bodies, and an interactive map that not only tells you where executives' offices are, but gives you walking directions to get there.

'Welcome To Cisco' -- iRobot Ava 500

Cisco employee Justin moved in and out of rooms where the conference was taking place answering questions and greeting attendees. Justin was able to do this from the comfort of his desk elsewhere in the building, thanks to the iRobot Ava 500. The video collaboration robot features Cisco TelePresence EX System.

Justin spoke and took pictures with people as if he were actually there without any voice or video delay when communicating. The screen was about 5 feet off the ground, allowing you to speak to Justin at around eye level.

Finding John Chambers

Want to find where a Cisco top executive is in the building? Easy: Just touch a name on one of the Cisco Smart Spaces screens around the building, and the guide will not only find what room the exec is in, but will tell you how to get there.

This photo showed the path to where John Chambers was at the time, and later moved when Chambers began walking around the building. The Smart Spaces screen, about 3-by-3-feet, also allows people to reserve office or conference rooms through a Web-based interface and gives a virtual map of where everything is on each of the five floors. It also provides location-based services such as showing the nearest available meeting room that has a TelePresence system.

Where Things Happen: Cisco's Executive Boardroom

It hosts world leaders, welcomes Cisco's biggest customers and is where the networking giant's top executives come together to make the big decisions. Cisco's executive boardroom features a gigantic table that comfortably sits more than 20 people facing a screen about the size of a small movie theater screen.

On the table sits more than a dozen iPads connected to the big screen, which was simultaneous displaying the local news, a live video stream of inside the room, a PowerPoint presentation and the bio of Cisco's Pankaj Patel from one of the iPad's on the table.

Also in the room are four large interactive screens mounted on the walls circling the room along with a massive amount of various charging ports.

IoT At Work

Inside Cisco's spacious IoT demo room, surrounded by glass, is a functioning, real world example of a Cisco IoT solution for the manufacturing floor. The Fanuc Mate 200iD is completely connected using Cisco gear and a duplicate of what is actually being used at robotics company Fanuc. During the conference, Cisco unveiled a partnership with Fanuc through which the two have created an IoT system that allows Fanuc to watch every robot on the factory floor.

The Fanuc 200iD is a compact, six-axis mini robot with the size and reach of a human arm. The robot continuously stacked blocks spelling the words Fanuc and Cisco.

Miniature IoT Bus

Also inside the company's IoT demo room was a real example of a Cisco IoT solution for the mass transit industry. Although the miniature bus did not actually run, the bus is connected to Cisco gear to show how it works on an actual transportation vehicle. If the bus were real, Cisco would be able to count the passengers inside, measure the temperature of the engine and know if the bus driver is typically on time or drives over the speed limit.

Here's Where Cisco Wins IoT Customers

Pavan Singh, head of Cisco's Internet of Everything verticals strategy and acceleration, gave the media a look into where they make pitches to customers around IoT. The giant interactive touch screen in front of more than a dozen seats is where executives sometimes give presentations to customers showing real-time statistics of where IoT is in use today.

The Future Boardroom

Cisco showed off its TelePresence IX5000 Series in a mock executive boardroom. With facial recognition that can follow someone around the room, the cameras found faces of people speaking in seconds, even if they were off in a corner or speaking in a very soft voice. Executives said it can also recognize the predominant speakers in the room for faster focus. The networking giant touts it as the industry-first support for H.265 on a triple-screen product.

Cisco also mentioned that its DX80 desktop video conferencing product in a different room was one of the main characters in the recent movie "The Martian" staring Matt Damon. Damon gets stranded on Mars and used Cisco video and collaboration products to keep in contact with NASA on Earth.

Cisco's Collaboration Demo Room

Cisco's collaboration demo room is where customers come to try out and learn about various solutions. Inside the glass room are more than a dozen products ranging from new desk phones and Apple Watches to laptops and television screens, nearly all equipped with a variety of Cisco cameras.

Cisco collaboration executives showed attendees how products like Jabber and Spark work on a variety of devices. They said Spark is being more tightly integrated with all of Cisco's existing technologies.

Live Global Security Attacks

Several large interactive screens are mounted along hallways, including one focusing on security attacks happening in real time. The video shows live security attacks and statistics. The video shows the region where the hackers are attacking from and the specific location they're targeting. Each hack attempt was shown like a missile quickly leaving one country and landing in another, which would then light up as if it were hit.

At the time of the photo, taken Oct. 5, the most amount of attacks per second were coming from China and Saudi Arabia, while the most targeted country by far was the United States. The more popular hot spots targeted by hackers in the U.S. appeared to be California and Washington state.

Social Media Center

Cisco's social media listening center built for monitoring, listening and engagement is made up of six touch screens with data from around the world about Cisco on social media. In one screen, you can view how many twitter posts in the past seven days mentioned Cisco, which can be broken down to segments such as the data center, virtualization and collaboration. Another screen shows social media posts in real time from around the world as well as geographic hot spots in countries talking about Cisco. The company said the insights can help Cisco shape overall marketing and communications strategies.