Many people are still getting their head around public and private clouds. Even less know about Internet of Things. However the real revolution will be bringing both together and for that you will need a proximity cloud.
What is a proximity cloud?
In five years time there will be billions of sensors everywhere. You will be wearing them on your body. They will be in your house, at your job, in your hospital, in your city, in your car/bus/plane, etc.
Now in a world where 1 billion people will have access to 10’s or even 100’s of connected devices around them, it is easy to understand that you don’t want to send all data they generate to a public or private cloud. There is just not enough mobile spectrum or fiber capacity to cater for this.
What we need is put intelligence close to the data generators to determine if your heartbeat, that video camara stream, the electricity consumption of your boiler, the brake capacity of your car, etc. are within normal limits or are outliers that deserve some more attention. Especially if video is involved you don’t want to send it over a public Internet connection if it has nothing interesting on it, e.g. the cat of the neighbours just got onto your lawn.
So houses, cars, companies, telecoms, hospitals, manufacturers, etc. will need some new type of equipment close to the data avalanches in order to filter out the 99.999999% of useless data.
An example. If you are a security company that manages tens of thousands of video cameras in thousands of companies then you want to know when a thief walks by or an aggression happens. You will train machines to make decisions on what the difference is between a human walking past or a cat. However burglars will soon find out that computer vision has a fault and when they wear a cat disguise they can get past. It is this type of events that will trigger a central cloud platform to request all videos of a local business in the last 24 hours and to train its visual model that humans can wear animal suits and then push this to all proximity clouds in all its customer premises. The alternative is storing all video streams in the cloud which would require enormous bandwidth or even worse, not knowing what happened and being in the press the next week for being the “cat-suit” flop.
Recently presented on TED, Aurasma is a mobile augmented reality app on your mobile that impresses everybody:
This is the future of mobile. You go to a museum and get all the info about the paintings in a live video put on top of the painting. You could get receipes on how to use a fruit or vegetable that you never prepared before. You get instructions on how to install your WiFi router. A lot of possibilities and most are still to be invented.
In a video posted on Youtube in January 2011, PHD student [now Dr. not surprisingly] Zdenek Kalal shows off his doctor’s thesis: Predator. Predator is a computer vision algorithm that shows how this nacent industry has matured in a few years.
Afterwards the face is automatically recognized. Even when the head is moved sideways.
Computer Vision is one of those domains that has been underutilized by most, except of course for Facebook, Google, etc. However in the age where people are moving from voice to video chat and even continuous live broadcasting, everybody that wants to add extra value towards end-users, or customers/advertisers, should be looking at the possibilities of computer vision. Imagine what is possible if you combine a Kinect or Leap with Predator: online advertisers and secret services ‘ paradise.
The whole video can be found here: