I'll be doing my Final Year project next year (roughly 8 months, beside other modules). I'm studying communication systems engineering, have some work experience on data networks (cisco stuff, routers, switches, firewalls, etc), and I'm CCNA certified, might even try to do CCNP before I get back to university next year). I've got a lot of experience and skills with programming (C, C++, embedded-C, Java) willing to learn new languages/protocols or anything in the programming/data networks world.
The question is: what new innovations are happening in the data networks world ? What could be really interesting topics for a final year project which would involve a lot of data networks and heavy programming ? What areas in data networks are very interesting to research ? Which topics would be really interesting for companies like Cisco, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, etc ?
Topics could be anything from network protocols, wireless, ipv6, fibreoptics, etc
Please help and advise. Thank you for your time.