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Hot Emerging Trends - Tablets + Cloud

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Category: My Life
Published Date Written by Jason Loo

This article highlights part 2 of my new bi-weekly series of articles on IT, business and technical view points. The contents are based on my observations and findings after working in the IT industry in Malaysia for the past 12 years.

#4 - Tablets

Tablet multimedia devices (notice i don't call it mobile PC) are becoming a norm and a rage nowadays. The first time i noticed this was on my trip to Singapore for a presentation. In the MRT, kids were using the Ipad 2 to watch animes, adults were listening to songs and browsing the Net and some were even working (presumably from their engrossed looks). In Malaysia, some of the corporate people have even started to ditch their laptops in the office and bring tablets on their business runs.

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This shows how far and wide tablets have come. Of course, this brings into view early efforts by Microsoft to introduce tablet computing to the world before the advent of the iPad. Somehow, Apple is always able to ignite the masses. The issue with Microsoft lies with its innovation and creativity which seems to stay within the boundaries of the computing world. For any company to succeed in redefining the market (as Apple had continuously done with iPod, iPhone and iPad), they must have the tenacity to see and complete the end to end picture. I remembered everyone wondered if the iPhone would succeed where many others have failed to do (essentially, to redefine the phone market).

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With the iPhone, not only has it managed to do so but it has also caused a revolution in the usage of data in the mobile world. Telcos everywhere are finding it harder and harder to satiate the appetitite of the masses on online activities such as Facebook, Google and the extremely hogging YouTube videos. Networks are being touted by telcos to be upgraded to 4G (or LTE) to enable faster and more cost-effective way of supporting the data usage. All this requires money to fund the infrastructure upgrade and this will definitely hit the bottomlines of every telco in the industry, even here in Malaysia.

Tablets now also have two major mobile Operating Systems to choose from, namely iOS (iPad2 and iPad2) as well as the more widely-adopted-than-Windows, Google's Android. Admittedly, I have seen a rush of devices running on Android. From market research reports, the fact that Android is the highest adopted OS in any mobile device is a sure fact. From phones to tablets, Android can be seen everywhere . .again more successful than the slow and less innovative competitors.

One point to note is the different sizes available for tablets nowadays. There is the 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab, 10.1" iPad2 and Motorola Xoom. My personal preference would be the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9". It depends on the preference of the owner of course. For me, my primary usage is browsing online, reading books and comics, watching videos and listening to podcasts.

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#5 - Cloud
Everyone is hyping about the 'cloud' nowadays. What is the 'cloud' refer to nowadays ? Cloud derives from cloud computing, loosely meaning a set of computers grouped together to perform certain functions or to be used as a platform to be rented out to customers. Amazon pioneered the idea of going all out to rent out virtual servers cheaply to customers. Its idea to provide a infrastructure as a service (or platform) enabled it to appeal to customers looking for cost-effective means of maintaining the existing IT capabilities while not losing the competitive edge.

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I have seen a lot of companies now including training providers in Malaysia which has started to rent this virtual servers for sandbox and student hands-on training purposes. In the old days, when training centre were playing catch-up on technology and thus have to upgrade their computers constantly. Now, i believe it has reduced burden on the costs. The same goes for in-house training conducted by some of the major consulting companies in which consultants have to be continuously upgraded in terms of knowledge, technical and functionally.

One of the most significant additions to the 'Cloud', would be the introduction of video conferencing on the cloud concept. I call it VOC now and essentially what it provides is the ability for any organization that needs to have face to face conferences with associates, management or even colleagues to actually have cost-effective means to hold such a conference. The number of participants could be few or large, depending on the needs.

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You can ask, what's the hype on this .. since some or all of the online messengers have this kind of capability. However, do remember that the infrastructure that is used to host these messengers are meant just for that purpose, messaging and not entirely catered for video conferencing at all. There was a friend who actually ventured out to work on his idea of having an online karaoke. i believe the concept was good and i know with coming technologies, it's gonna be a great service to offer to people online.
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What's next...
Well, there seems to be a use for tablets and growing use of cloud technologies recently, so why not combine both of them. Imagine a tablet that can run on multiple platforms, just need to load the particular OS from the cloud and voila! you can play games, run apps, or even perform programming in a tablet. Furthermore, in the office this tablets will be dockable just like traditional laptops. Maybe one day too, this tablets can plug into the office table and the employee just works away :)

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This tablets can then interact with 'connected' appliances e.g. cctv security systems, fridge, heater, window blinds, temperature and humidity. I imagine also a day when cars will come with docks for tablets that have GPS positioning systems as well as voice commands to interface with phones, mobile analytics as well as entertainment systems.

That's the future ... stay tuned for more hot tech trends from yours trulye . .hope this article has entertained you as much as I enjoyed writing it :)


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