Accessing documents from the cloud is commonplace today, but a few years ago, applications like Google Docs were used by a few brave souls as an alternative to Microsoft Office. If you like listening to music when working on those documents, you can choose the songs you want to hear via the cloud with an application like Spotify. These are just two examples of how the cloud is changing our everyday routine. As more companies and consumers begin to adopt the cloud, it is only a matter of time until we depend on the cloud for, well, just about everything.
Here are six predictions from our sources and across the Web on the ways cloud computing will soon change the way we care for our home, pay for a morning cup of coffee and get things done at work:
The cloud goes mobile.
Today, when you download an app, it is only available on the device where it is stored. But in the future, those apps will be located in the cloud and made available wherever you are and for use on multiple devices. Cloud storage of apps and services will be as common in the next few years as app stores are today, wrote J. Gerry Purdy, a principal analyst with MobileTrax, in an article for eWeek.com. “I predict that cloud-based apps will become a viable market in the same way application stores have become for smartphones and tablets. For example, Apple could create an iCloud store where apps are built for interacting with the Internet cloud rather than just operating locally.”
All of our television viewing will be streamed through the cloud.
“There is already a movement towards the cloud in this area, with popular products like Hulu and Netflix streaming. With this movement, and as the Internet gets more fully adopted in all walks of life, people will be allowed to access live and taped television and movies anytime and anywhere,” said Andrew Schrage, co-owner of Money Crashers Personal Finance. Eventually, Schrage said, we will be able to access live and taped television via our computers while hooked up to the Internet, be able to download past shows and events from the cloud and access them anywhere on our computers, mobile phones or any monitor in the world.
Will the next release of gaming consoles be the last?
With more casual gamers turning to the iPad and Kindle to play video games, companies like Sony and Microsoft will be forced to restructure how games are played. Sony and Microsoft have yet to release specs on their new consoles, but Wanda Meloni, the founder of the gaming research firm M2, says they will most likely involve increased cross-platform capability. “Gamers may start a game on their console, for example, but they’ll be able to pick it up again on their smartphone,” Matthew Shaer wrote in POPSCI. “That shift will also change how games are published, away from the disc-based model and toward more downloadable and cloud-based content.”
All computing will eventually be “as a service.”
Eventually all of our computing needs and capabilities will be based in the cloud, Justin Colyn, general manager of Fixed Mobile Convergence at MTN Business told IT News Africa. According to Gartner, Software as a Service (SaaS) was expected to see a revenue increase of over 20% from 2010 to 2011. In the near future, plan to see an increase in cloud applications such as Platform as a Service as an operating system, Desktop as a Service to replicate the desktop environment, and Communications as a Service as the primary voice communications system.
The smart wallet will change the way we pay for everything.
Schrage believes the concept of physical money will disappear with the expansion of the cloud. With smart wallet applications like Google Wallet that use near-field communications (NFC) technology, we will be paying for goods and services with smartphones.
“ABI Research expects mobile wallet users to grow in number to 594 million by 2016. It expects that the cell-phone carriers and Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Research in Motion will inundate the mobile wallet market with NFC-capable mobile phones in the United States, Western Europe, Japan and South Korea,” Stephen Alexander reported in Technorati.
The cloud will manage your home’s energy systems.
It won’t be long before tasks like controlling your home thermostat from remote locations will happen in the cloud, predicted Liam McCallum, founder and executive producer of QVIVO. The technology that allows you to keep your home at the right temperature could also manage other “energy-hog” devices. In an article for Green Tech Advocates, Steven Castle wrote about a company called EcoFactor, reporting that the company’s technology can eventually create a smart home. “EcoFactor is not stopping at the thermostat. The company started there because that’s where the biggest energy savings are in the home,” Castle reported. “The next big energy hog on the list? Water heating.”
Rackspace® Hosting is the service leader in cloud computing providing Fanatical Support® to customers across a portfolio of IT services, including Managed Hosting and Cloud Computing.