|By Ian Khan||
|October 3, 2015 02:00 PM EDT||
Seven Jaw-Dropping Applications of Cloud Computing
Here are seven completely real, jaw-dropping applications of cloud computing that can transform humanity. Made possible with cloud technology, don't be surprised if you have never heard about such applications.
1. Shoes Sold by the Step
Imagine buying the world's best shoes or for that matter any pair of shoes and paying zero dollars for them upfront. That would be crazy right? Well the Internet of Things can make this possible. With new technologies that can power everything we do and create new ways of doing them, vendors of consumable items can sell items based on a unique measurement rather than on a flat fee. Shoes may be sold for the number of steps you are expected to take in them or car tire manufacturers may charge you based on the number of kilometers you drive. No matter what, the fundamental aspect of charging a customer will change with the Internet of Things and cloud computing. This idea is based on consumption cloud computing that measures the usage of a specific service or product and charges the end user in real time. The possibilities are endless.
2. Identify Disease Breakouts
Big Data in simple terms is an enormous amount of data that is generated through a specific application or website. Take Facebook or Twitter as examples. Both these websites generate a tremendous amount of data every second that's aggregated. You can now find out from millions of data points to what your customers react and what action to take. In this same way, you can now take data from say a specific population or demographic and find out inconsistencies or data points that can help identify things such as a disease outbreak. Just a few years back Google made headlines for being able to pinpoint the outbreak of flu in real time using data it received in its search engine search. Imagine predicting a drought, an Ebola outbreak or the plague.
3. Lots of IT Without Buying It
If you have ever worked for a large company in the IT department, you would know the sheer amount of money big companies spend on IT infrastructure. It's not in the thousands or millions even. It's in the hundreds of millions and even billions. Organizations overall are now able to leverage the power of cloud computing to make low or no investment into expensive infrastructure. Instead they can now have scalable infrastructure on demand through data centers. In many cases organizations are now also consolidating their infrastructure in low-cost geographical regions and accessing it from the Internet. Made possible with the power of cloud computing, flexible infrastructure is a fast-growing aspect of the technology industry.
4. Higher Education at your Fingertips
The availability of Massive Online Open Course or MOOC is a boon to anyone interested in learning anything new. MOOCs have revolutionized the way education is delivered and accessed or as I like to say "consumed" by people hungry to learn You can now start a course from many of the world's renowned education establishments such as Harvard University, Penn State or hundreds of other universities right from your bedroom. MOOCs are courses delivered over the Internet. Made possible primarily because cloud computing, they has helped us change the way we deliver and use information.
5. 3D Printing Transforms On-Demand Manufacturing
3D printing is taking the world by storm. The ability to print anything in an instant is revolutionary to the level that it is being used from healthcare to space exploration. 3D printing is being used to generate perfectly made bone replacements to an actual socket wrench that was designed on earth, and 3D printed and used in space. The applications of this are revolutionary. Imagine no need for manufacturing plants or facilities. Instead all you need is a composite design of what you need and a 3D printer capable of printing it. Although not commercially viable yet, which means you can't start producing things at a mass scale, there are many instances where 3D printing has been used to generate a key piece of material. Cloud computing today is helping provide the computational capabilities when it comes to creating designs or processes used in 3D printing.
6. Live Translation Breaks Down Borders
Would you believe it - now you can speak to your long-estranged relatives in their language and yet have no need to learn it. Yes. Live translation technologies, currently being pushed out by technology companies like Microsoft and Google, are the ability to translate speech from one language to another while being spoken. Live translation is going to be revolutionary as it breaks down barriers between countries, regions and people. No communication gaps mean the ability to do more, communicate effectively and being understood correctly. This would open more doors for people to understand each other more and perhaps lead to increased trade, commerce and cultural exchanges worldwide. Maybe fewer wars.
7. Prevent Natural Disasters
Knowing when a disaster is likely to strike could be key lifesaving information in the hands of people who can help. Today, technologies that measure seismic activity, weather patterns and volcanic activity are used everywhere. What, however, can be done further is to enable the faster gathering and processing of data to allow something we call actionable insights. Data from sensors can be processed much faster and more efficiently with cloud computing platforms such as Big Data. This information can not only help save lives, but also help identify patterns and can be used as indicators for future calamities. Think about being able to predict the next Katrina days ahead.
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