Eva Kempinsky looks at how cloud technology will affect mobile
Cloud computing is a hot topic for many in the IT industry and the wider business world, because it affords users a greater degree of scalability and flexibility while easing the pressures on in-house systems and lessening the emphasis which is placed on hardware upgrades. It also has broad implications in the consumer market, because mobile users can benefit from a number of services based in the cloud which could become invaluable in the future. The question is whether or not location-based services powered by the cloud will be able to have a direct impact on the number of mobile subscribers across the world?It should be said that the mobile market has been swelling steadily over the past few decades without really requiring the influence of the cloud to take off.
However, one area which will certainly benefit from cloud adoption is the smartphone sector, which is ballooning to quickly accommodate the majority of new handset purchases – reaching saturation point in developed nations.
Smartphones need to do much more than simply allow users to make calls and send texts.
With the right SIM-only contracts, it is simple for owners of high-end handsets to get online, download data and communicate through social-networking sites.
Any smartphone worth its salt will also have integrated GPS connectivity, allowing users to pinpoint their position; navigate to any destination; and also combine their location with a number of other apps and services.
Google Goggles is a good example of such location-based services which are powered by cloud computing and accessible to smartphone owners.
It is essentially an image search engine which allows a user to take a
picture of theoretically any object or place and have Google’s systems then provide them with more information about whatever it is they happen to be next to.
Google Goggles is currently able to distinguish major landmarks in capital cities and other areas by comparing the images captured by the user against other pictures to make a match.
Cloud computing handles all of the processing and searching, so there is little strain on the actual hardware of the user’s handset itself or the data connection, which means that users’ SIM only contracts will not be charging extra at the end of the month.
Eventually, Google is hoping that the Goggles service will be able
to identify other inanimate objects, from exotic plants to items offurniture.
Google Goggles is a more general app which operates as a suitable example of the cloud-powered, location-based mobile services which are becoming increasingly prevalent.
Mobile users are already able to perform location- based searches for businesses and amenities which are in the vicinity.
This takes the guesswork out of travelling, because each new place you visit will already be well documented through various apps and you can use the cloud to pull together all the information you need.
Whether this will translate into increased smartphone sales and
mobile subscribers on its own is harder to quantify.
While the sales figures indicate that smart phones are becoming more popular by the month – with 37 million iPhones sold in Q4 2011 alone, it is unlikely that the cloud will be the sole driving force behind this uptake.
A combination of factors, from connectivity to location-based services and social networking, are all likely to contribute.
About the Author
The above article was written and produced by UK-based Eva Kempinsky. Eva is well versed in writing articles related to media and technology. Her expertise in writing articles is chiefly related to mobile phone technology and SIM-only contracts in particular. See www.sim-only.co.uk.