- Internet & the Web
Will Cloud Computing Benefit Society?
Cloud Computing is Everywhere!
You might not be all that familiar with cloud computing, but you probably already use it many times a day! As we progress into the future, it's interesting to consider how cloud computing will affect us as a society... and as a species!
The real task is informing the public about a technology that is quite easy to understand-- but seems too complicated for the average person to tackle... So let's try to fix that!
The Benefits of Embracing Cloud Computing
(And Some of the Disadvantages too!)
People are barely paying attention to this! Well at least not the general public...
Cloud computing is starting to dominate the day to day lives of humans across the developed world. In fact, it's also spreading to places like India and the Middle East!
Yet almost no one would know what it is if you asked them... Do you know?
Cloud computing is when files are transmitted off your computer (or smartphone, iPad, etc) and stored off site on a server located somewhere else. The easiest example of cloud computing in action is web-based email programs. Your messages aren't stored on your computer-- they're stored somewhere...out THERE... in "the cloud...!"
And while, most people haven't really stopped to think about what that really means, cloud computing is nonetheless changing how we communicate in a VERY fundamental way.
You have to consider that throughout recorded history, we've had to write messages down and physically deliver them to wherever they needed to go. For our ancestors, the pilgrims and early settlers in America, that could take months... or even YEARS. People on opposites sides of the world may never have been able to communicate at all, no matter how much time they had.
Now it only takes a couple seconds! And that's a big deal. Most people would say that has been a huge benefit to society.
And cloud computing isn't just email-- it's video sharing websites, social networking, even most of the apps on your smartphone are running on some kind of cloud-based program. So maybe you're beginning to see what a big deal it really is.
Some major buzz is coming out about glasses that people can wear in order to layer their visual field with info from the web. WOW! These glasses have now been released for sale. Perhaps you've even seen people wearing them around. The potential applications of that kind of technology are jaw droppingly amazing!
But maybe also a little scary...
The Downside Potential
Here is one of the downsides people are voicing regarding cloud computing technologies. This is a path that humans have never been down. Many people are concerned about privacy and security in a world where information is so readily available. How will we adjust to that kind of paradigm? Will we even be able to?
Before cloud computing can reach it's full potential, perhaps there will be a demand for regulations and ethics legislation...
Then again, maybe not. Maybe cloud computing will turn out to be the wild wild west of technologies! What do you think?
Future Cloud Applications... Ooooo!
Use Your Imagination...
As we stated before, cloud computing is being utilized in an increasingly diverse number of ways.
But in THE FUTURE, these applications will become even more varied and complex. Let's look at some predictions:
In the not so distant future, clothes may be designed with an ability to connect to the internet. And with that ability, fabrics could be designed to reference information in the cloud and adjust to the environment around them. They might even be able to change colors or themes-- who knows!?
These are already here! Though not really available to the average consumer, these vehicles could take drivers completely out of the equation using GPS and map applications that are hosted in the cloud!
Imagine a world where your home responds to you like a member of your family. Ask your dishwasher to start to the cycle... "and make it heavy duty-- I left all the food stuck on the plates!"
Perhaps you're concerned that all the windows downstairs are locked-- but you're already in bed... no problem! When smart homes are connected in the cloud, you'll be able to access the status of your house from anywhere with an internet connection.
And in the more distant future, once nanotechnology becomes widespread, you may even be able to change the size of your rooms or the furniture they contain-- with just a simple instruction. Now THAT would be awesome!
Take a Moment to Vote! - a cloud computing poll :)
With what you've learned, do you think cloud computing will end up being a more of a benefit or a bad thing for human beings?
Some Books on Cloud Computing - Have a Read
The internet is great-- but don't forget about books! Here are some more possible resources that can help you learn more about cloud computing, how it is utilized and what lies in the future.
Cloud Computing: Good vs. Evil! - Square Off in the Debate!
Do you think Cloud Computing will cause more harm than good in future years?