Cisco Systems' new market is urban management.
The router and switch kings are teaming up with cities like Seoul, Lisbon, Madrid, San Francisco and Hamburg, Germany, on energy efficiency experiments. It will then take the successful ones and export them around the world.
In San Francisco, for instance, Cisco has rigged up a municipal bus with wireless Internet access so commuters can get their e-mail, browse the Web, or get information on when their connecting bus or train is coming in. The idea is to make public transportation more attractive and popular, which in turn reduces carbon dioxide emissions by getting people to stop taking their cars as much.