Enter the Cloud


The “cloud” can be an elusive concept, but more and more tech-savvy folks on both the enterprise and consumer side of the coin are realizing the importance of cloud-based devices and services to the future of our connected society. The cloud enables a host of “smart” solutions, ranging from in-vehicle connectivity and realtime first-response solutions, to connected-home services that can help us cut back on energy use and costs.

On the enterprise side, a new report from IDC (Intl. Data Corp.) www.idc.com, suggests public IT spending on cloud services will reach $40 billion in 2012 and $100 billion by 2016. In fact, IDC says cloud services are expected to grow five times faster than the general IT industry, suggesting many will shift to a more cloud-oriented model for IT consumption.

The anticipated explosion of cloud-based systems and the so-called “Internet of Things” is being supported by companies such as Wind River, www.windriver.com, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corp., www.intel.com, which announced this week the launch of its Wind River Intelligent Device Platform—a software-development environment exclusively for M2M (machine-to-machine) applications.

The platform builds on the company’s Embedded Development Kit for M2M Smart Services, providing key pieces to the development of an M2M device. The Wind River Intelligent Device Platform (which will be available Q4 of this year) is based on the company’s embedded Linux operating system and middleware, and it will be compatible with the new Intel Intelligent Systems Framework.

The platform’s goal is to encourage innovation and the deployment of intelligent devices and systems, which could include anything from remote health-monitoring systems to smart meters within a home. In fact, Strategy Analytics, www.strategyanalytics.com, suggests the home will be a huge market for smart systems in the coming years; its data suggests smart-home solutions could generate $24.3 billion in revenue by 2017.

And yet, the concept of connected home has been elusive for many years. Uptake among consumers has begun to gain steady ground, but not enough to warrant full mainstream adoption. However, new cloud-based solutions that offer unique value propositions such as controlling appliances via smartphone or streaming Web content to your TV are making smart home more of a reality.

Today, Peggy Smedley, editorial director of Connected World magazine and host of The Peggy Smedley Show, will moderate a Twitter chat focusing on cloud services in the home, including market potential, hurdles, and specific solutions. The September #cloudchat, entitled “Enabling cloud for the connected home,” is part of a monthly series organized by Thoughts on Cloud, a blog from IBM Cloud Computing that aims to facilitate industry dialogue surrounding various cloud topics.

Anyone can join the event by following Connected World magazine on Twitter (@connectedwmag) and using hashtag #cloudchat to ask questions and share thoughts posed by Smedley and other panelists between 4-5 p.m. ET.

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June/July 2014
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