Internet of Things review: Cisco’s new IoT + Google Glass accessories

It’s go big or go extinct for Cisco, which seeks to adapt its enterprise networking franchise to the burgeoning Internet of Things in a push to capitalize on the coming wave of connected devices. This week at the Internet of Things World Forum in Barcelona, the company announced that it’s consolidating its efforts under a dedicated business unit led by veteran executive Guido Jouret.

The newly formed Internet of Things Group brings together several existing units, including Cisco’s Connected Industries, Connected Energy and Physical Security businesses. The division will focus on networking embedded sensors and customizing the vendor’s products for use in manufacturing, oil and gas, mining, energy and other specific industries.

The rapid growth of the Internet of Things is driven in large part by the accelerating adoption of wearable gadgets, a market that is taking off thanks to big-name supporters such as Nike and Google.

The search giant recently pulled the curtains back on a completely redesigned model of Google Glass and a range of accompanying accessories. The selection includes a mono earbud, a “protective pouch” that will set you back $50, a clear shield and a set of shades designed in partnership with Maui Jim and Zeal Optics.

The newest iteration of Google Glass was announced in conjunction with the release of Android KitKat, the latest version of the company’s flagship mobile operating system. The platform adds a number of major usability improvements and consolidates communications – including instant messaging and voice and video calling – into an integrated app called Hangouts.

KitKat comes pre-installed with the Nexus 5, the successor to LG’s popular Nexus 4. The 4.95-inch phone packs a 2.26GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip and a 450 MHz Adreno 330 GPU, plus a 2300 mAh battery that can manage 8.5 hours on WiFi, 7 hours on LTE, or up to 17 of hours talk time on a single charge.