Sophia is a mom of Emily, a 6-month old baby. She is a software engineer and works from home for a reputed software firm. While working in her home-office, her Apple iPhone beeps to indicate that a message has arrived. She checks the message that reads, “URGENT! Emily is out of her crib.” Sophia rushes to Emily’s room and put her back into her playpen. The Wi-Fi presence attached to the crib sensor transmitted the status of the baby to her iPhone application.
This is a hypothetical scenario, but the technology mentioned is not. Smartphones, laptops, tablets, VoIP phones and other off-the-shelf Wi-Fi devices have changed the way we live- both literally, in terms of our emotional and physical well-being.
According to a report from IT research firm Gartner, cloud computing, social media, mobile technology and the ubiquity of information are converging to form a “nexus of forces” that will build and transform user behavior, revolutionizing business and society, disrupting old business models and creating new leaders.
What is Mobile cloud computing? Mobile Cloud Computing (MCC) is a mixture of networking, cloud computing and mobile computing. It is a rapidly developing segment of the mobile market.
Why is mobile cloud computing growing?
People’s love for smartphones is growing. Smartphones, which is a versatile all-in-one communication device, is playing a far greater role in our lives and has replaced watches, cameras, alarms, music players, books and even laptops to a certain functional extent.
The Deloitte’s State of the Media Democracy study states that nearly half (42 per cent) of America’s fourteen year and older population is now a smartphone owner. Similar to Swiss Army Knives, smartphones are now used to perform a variety of tasks including, but not limited to texting, calling, taking pictures & making video clips, gaming, playing music, internet browsing and sending emails, making transactions for work or personal use.
When the term “internet everywhere” is becoming a reality, smartphones, cloud computing and web access are going side by side. The new technologies like cloud computing, virtualization, and mobility have created a lot of interest in companies of all sizes as it enables them to improve their ability to protect crucial information and recover from potential disasters such as floods or fires.
Benefits of mobile cloud computing:
- Mobile cloud computing offers access to a wide range of applications on a need basis.
- It eliminates the need of being tied up to a single cell phone service provider.
- Mobile devices do not have sufficient storage capacity. Mobile cloud computing enables users to store/access large amounts of data in cloud. So, computing and storage will be in the cloud and the presentation of product and/or service will be on device.
- Running applications in the cloud is an effective way to improve reliability. When the mobile device is lost or destroyed, the data stored in cloud is preserved.
- Service providers can easily add and expand an application.
- Other benefits include mobile commerce, mobile learning, mobile healthcare, mobile gaming, photo sharing, keyword and video searching.
Tech- savvy people are empowered by the cloud as it offers more flexibility and enables them to determine their usage pattern. Certain sectors like media, technology, entertainment and “knowledge industries” have shown wide adaptation of mobile services.
Obstacles facing mobile cloud computing:
It is agreeable that smartphone usage is increasing at rapid pace, but one should not forget that there is still a large number of people who are using feature phones. These lower-end phones will not disappear any time soon and phone manufacturers might come up with smarter built-in web browsers that can hinder the growth of mobile cloud computing.
The main issues with mobile cloud computing are non-availability of wireless bandwidth and fluctuations in network service delivery. In addition, adaptive network monitoring is another major roadblock for this technology.
The abovementioned challenges are not easy to overcome, but service and network providers are working (both from communication as well as computing sides) to improve a user’s mobile cloud experience. All in all, the future for mobile cloud computing is surely bright, but consumers will have to be patient with some of its shortcomings, which should be addressed in the near future.
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About the Guest Author:
Mandira Srivastava is a fulltime freelance writer who specializes in technology, health and fitness, politics, and financial writing. Equipped with degree of mass communication and having worked for both private and corporate clients, I have experience meeting a wide range of writing requirements and styles.