This sponsored post is produced in association with Syncano.
By 2020, there will be almost as many digital bits in the universe as there are stars floating above us and over 212 billion connected “things” (IDC). As more and more devices and sensors come online, and as we go through life daily monitoring and producing information every second about ourselves, our lives, our things, our environment, and our corporations, the growth of data won’t be linear. It will be exponential and rival any cosmic explosion.
All this creates a massive processing challenge. We will be looking at access to unprecedented levels of data, but without the means to synchronize all of it across millions of devices and other sources in real time, we would just be crushed by it.
Data only has meaning if we turn it into something people can use
This distributed and decentralized data set is massive and continually changing. It needs to form the basis for simplifying and unifying individual user experiences. Data from all relevant sources needs to be available in real time for every application generating a user experience.
The challenge lies in the limited bandwidth and computing power that these applications have; they’re going to have to rely on the almost unlimited computing power of the cloud to realize their potential.
At Syncano, we’re already deep into preparing for what we call server-assisted sync. We see the cloud’s role being transformed from the traditional server-centric model to a server-assisted sync and processing cloud for this new mesh of independent devices and data sources. And I believe this kind of functionality must be available for any developer in the world, no matter their size — from individual developers and small teams all the way to enterprise environments. No question, the democratization of development is driving innovation today, where small creative teams of talented developers can do amazing things with few resources — specifically because these new technologies have reduced the entry barrier.
With this model, a simple, unified and relevant user experience across a growing number of user interfaces — in variations of simultaneous, joint and serial usage — is entirely achievable. The vision is to reach a point where this is so naturally embedded in our daily lives that we can realize a truly transcendent user experience.
Take public transit, for example. Let’s say it’s a bad-weather day and more people than usual opt to take the bus or subway. What if every commuter was connected by their device to the infrastructure, and the system knew exactly where every person was that was using public transit? And the system adjusted delivery to those places with highest demand? Instea
d of basing transit schedules on average volumes, the system could respond to the real-time needs of people, based on a real-time supply and demand mechanism.
Of course, this requires massive amounts of data synced and processed in real time by the infinite capabilities of cloud computing. And imagine how this same thinking can be extended across other infrastructure needs such as parking, traffic systems, street lighting, and more.
Truly convergent entertainment
With the huge growth in available content, navigating on-demand viewing can become far smarter with server-assisted sync. Currently, all available media platforms are siloed. Although Netflix streams more than one billion hours of content every month, none of what you watch on Netflix is integrated with your consumption of broadcast television, YouTube videos, iTunes purchases — not to mention your various social graphs or your communication with friends.
But it could be. All these data points have the potential to be integrated and to enable true convergence — something that’s been talked about for 10 or 15 years and now, with the capabilities of server-assisted sync, is really achievable.
While web-based MMO games are built from the ground-up to be social, hundreds (if not thousands) of well-known mobile games first launch in the app stores as individual and non-collaborative. Making these types of games social requires a significantly different technical solution from original MMO’s, even though the end user may detect no difference. By syncing all data points in the cloud, Syncano makes it possible for game creators to add these socially immersive features to games that at first were merely individual games.
More efficient collaborative tools
This cloud computing power will be required as enterprise environments adapt collaborative tools to their own workflow or business logic. Tools such as Evernote and Dropbox have become tightly integrated into consumers’ lives. As employees, they now expect their workplaces to function with the same kind of efficiency these apps provide in their day-to-day lives. Certainly, smartly coordinating workflow among coworkers will make work more efficient and effective —possibly even more enjoyable.
But this involves possibly millions of data points capturing what each employee is doing moment by moment and combining this with data from various legacy sources that are not really built to be real-time. Without smart cloud services, all that minute-by-minute data would be just a mess of confusion if shared unfiltered with coworkers. But with the unlimited computing power of the cloud, this data can be turned into applications that assist in making decisions about only the most relevant information.
Transcendent user experiences
The possibility to create truly transcendent user experiences isn’t just a dream; it’s a reality that’s within reach. Transcendent experiences that transform the way we live, work, and play, and how all of it is facilitated and enabled. Whether it’s serving up micro-customized media selections that match your entire entertainment consumption from the last year, drones that monitor and implement quality control over things as diverse as agricultural crops and sewage systems, biological nanobots that improve delivery of medication with microprecision, or simply a better way to find your lost luggage, the future — and its data — is unstoppable.
The ever-expanding universe of data will double every two years, reaching 44 trillion gigabytes by 2020 (IDC). With the supercomputing power of the cloud and server-assisted sync, innovators inspired to create that future can now realize its potential.
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