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Rethinking the Internet of Things

Every business in every industry could benefit from advances in digital connectivity, as the "Internet of Things" allows people to manage assets better and make more fully informed decisions. But to realize the potential of IoT, the world must first reimagine how networks are used.

SHENZHEN – At a telecommunications conference hosted by Huawei late last year, I told a group of senior executives looking for growth opportunities in a saturated market that one billion new mobile subscribers were just waiting for their services. Then, I showed them a photo of a cow.

People took pictures of my presentation with their smartphones. Some chuckled; maybe they thought I was joking. But I was dead serious.

Chinese dairy farmers are already connecting their herds to the Internet. Cows wear collars with wireless sensors that collect biometric data such as body temperature and heart rate. Insights from this information are then used to improve milk production, helping farmers earn an extra $420 per cow each year, and increase overall profits by 50% annually.

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