Catching up with predictions.
Some time back in my blog, I predicted elements I expected to see in the fusion between mobile/tablet technology and the cloud. The things that would power the change as it were.
So I'm back to follow up on 2 predictions and point my few and myriad readers in the right direction with their next round of upgrades.
I discussed how the number of WIFI radios would come to have more value than processing cores in the flag arena as things drifted back "server side" in the form of cloud applications. Since additional radios increases bandwidth (if available), each one you add is like a processing core for your cloud applications. Faster throughput, faster refresh. So I predicated that in the future mobile devices would have multiple radios.
As an example of this concept emerging now we have the Microsoft Surface tablet. It comes equipped with 2 radios (dual 2.6 GHz wifi). And to be honest - if you're an avid Microsoft Office fan and started using Office365 cloud based office; then the Surface may be the device for you. Better throughput to internet (thus the cloud), an integrated kickstand and an attachable full size keyboard that meshes with the higher integrated design to give you a wafer thin package with very high end office capability - and mobile.
You watch. I'll wager that Google will counter this in the near future with dual 5.2 GHz radios and make them compatible with its growing Google hotspot.
Another prediction I made is that its possible to build a distributed super computer from mobile devices. That it would require adhoc networking to self assemble a super computer from nearby devices. A kind of "borg collective" approach to processing power.
Now you have the new Nexus 7 tablet with its NFC/Android Beam technology. This provides a vector for hot spot independent (assembling network of nearby devices) networking. That's right, even in the absence of a hot spot or wi fi hub, the devices can assemble into an intranet. Now couple this with the quad core processors in the new devices and you have the perfect storm for my prediction. Someone will now come along and write a distributed computing front end and put it on Android Play and that will be that!
Now - as a guy who likes to be in the right place at the right time. I'll be honest with you. What I would really like to have is an NFC/Android beam dongle for a surface tablet, with a port of Android's Jelly Beam running on it. That's the whole enchilada folks... 2 radios, quad core processor with the kind of ad hoc front end for distributed wireless super computing.
Imagine if you lived in a 4 person household and each of you had a device like this - in a distributed computing model... this would 16 cores of processing power + 4 GPUs. Things like 3D modeling/rendering would be improved by the touch interface, and render times in an environment like that would be awesome. (Go out and price out a render farm and see what they would charge you for 16 cores).
The point is - the revolution is coming much faster than I imagined. This flip over point in software delivery (from installed local software, to remotely accessible apps) and ad hoc super computing of mobile devices is close at hand. We'll probably see the first blundering steps next year.
I anticipate a showdown between Google and Microsoft as Apple tries to cope with its power vacuum. Power vacuums can really harm an organizations ability to dynamically correct course; and Steve Jobs was nothing if not dynamic.
The irony is - neither will be the winner of the show down, they need each others technologies to go forward. So if I were them - I'd skip the financially staggering intellectual property boondoggle and gun straight for collaboration. After all, you know Apple will want no part of such a collaboration. And even though they were first to market with quad core tech, its locked away over there... behind the Apple wall. I get that though - Microsoft and Google give you the jungle of the internet; Apple gives you a tended orchard. There's nothing new about this approach, think back on America Online back in the day. They gave you moderated and tended internet. In 2012 there's even a word for this... data curation. And there are jobs out there for data curators. (Ultimately data curation will probably wind up being a new branch of library science if you want to approach that type of work through an educational path).
So yeah - here's to the future. May it be fast and rocking. :)