Category: Vision


Cisco’s Videotic Future

Few months back, I viewed Cisco CTO Ms Padmasree Warrior Keynote presentation to Mobilize. I found her very impactful and commanding lady. She has very impressive outlook at Cisco’s future technology directions. I term her talk as “Videotic Future”. Padmasree’s talk was about learning of past and comparing it with present and future dynamics.

Here are my keynotes from her keynotes:

Today’s revolution of mobile and internet has brought true globalization by bring human innovation to The Flat World. With time rolling, mobile and internet mashup will soon become pervasive in our way of life. Result is Globalization 2.0, which is allowing seamless flow of capital and innovation between Developed world and Emerging economies. With this we see innovation is flourishing with solid collaboration across the borders. Today, innovation is not the means of solitary genius and large corp, it is oozing from all over places. Put your idea on blog/twitter and you will see people start ideation with you right from all corners of planet. This is indicative of transition from Brainstorming to Brainforming.

At Mobilize, she expressed her concerns about many mobile platforms, both open and proprietary, which are making mobile app developers very confused. There are still no standards  in mobile world and radio frequency not yet regulated across the world. But it is the time to bring internet to mobile to realize its full potential.

Some more retrospective comparisons:

  • Customer behavior is moving from “Ideation and Selection” to “Try and Buy it”.
  • World has moved from consumer and enterprise worker to just “user”.
  • From Public and private network of past, today we talk about “the network”.
  • Having compartmentalizing our past life, it is now about anytime anywhere, “Online”.
  • In the past creating and consuming were two different things and today we are talking about collaboration and sharing.

Every technology evolution has its shelf life, so as Internet, which has reached its threshold. According to her, future trends will be Video, Collaboration and Virtualization. With promising fattening pipes with 10 TBPS by 2010, it will change game the way we see it today. These bigger pipes will lead more demand for visual applications and visual network which will spread into Enterprise to Social through existing internet applications. Video Collaboration will be much bigger. That is why, Cisco is gunning for Videotic future with its products like TelePresence and MediaNet.

Chrome OS

Foolishly, I always dreamed that Google Pack should be complete OS, eventually it is ready to become that.  “Google Chrome OS” was an expected announcement for me. Google actually built Chrome just like an OS under hood. Remember, Chrome presentation of internal architecture where they say that very tab, JS engine, Image render engine and video player all will be running on separate processes.

I think it is a step in right direction. MS has not changed in last two decades from their approach of “everything is OS dependent”. Unwillingly, they tried to sallow hard pill of “Network is OS”, but their every attempt has same flavor to tie it same old boat “OS”.

All the more, it was expected to be Linux only, as they embrace Open Source in most of their approach. E.g Android, AJAX, Java on App Engine/Android etc. Yes, Linux has more adaptations than total numbers of Michal Jackson songs till his heart attack. I hope Chrome will finally put it to rest.

Only fear I have is that I hope that Google will not follow two OS (Chrome and Android). If yes, that will be a big disaster for this effort.

I always believed that man-kind will move to have single brain and Google is on that path by making web as a center.

Cheers to Chrome ….. will be waiting for this final incarnation of “web as OS”.

Since college, passion for mathematics has transformed into daily Product Engineering solutions. Certainly, I miss that Math world, but staying happy with parallel world of Engineering. Yes, I think, both help in solving a problem-space by computational; engineering it’s about solving practical problem and math it’s about proving theorems.

Yesterday, stumbled upon YouTube presentation by known scientist Stephen Wolfram who has been involved in huge project of  Mathematica and written a book. Recently, he has gone ahead to answer the problem of organizing/computing world’s information.

Wolfram|Alpha is very fascinating project to create first computational knowledge engine to do sophisticated computations, both pure computations involving numbers or formulas, and computations applied automatically to data called up from its data sources.  This answers very computational requirement to turn generic information into specific answers where present search engine has struggled.

When we develop software, we also deal with this info but these IT data is very structure as it is directly meant for that targeted system. There is still no system which can read and comprehend any data and make sense out of it.

I was more interested in the internal organization of his answer to semantic search. In this presentation, he describes his system in four major components.

First building block is “Curated Data”, a data set which is derived from  different data sources and mapped into structures like XML/RDF.  Second is “Algorithm Computing”, a set of methods based on mathematical formulas to drive a scene out of this Curated Data. Third is “Linguistic Analysis” which interprets the human inputted question/queries and map it into one of the appropriate Algorithm to compute. And Final one, “Automatic Presentation” to judge the user interface required for a given query.

Wolfram gave his previous experience with Mathematica to answer open source. In past, he has made huge effort to put the code of Mathematica but he sadly admits there was hardly any interest due to its complexity.  I think he is right, this work may not be easily comprehensible at this stage, but may be in future, a better language will represent these scientist code in simpler fashion.

Wolfram way of monetization is very similar to Google propagated Adverts, relevant Ad per query. He also pointed out that he has been successful to bring collaborations with lots of major industry players. He accepts there is still lot of work to be done in machine’s Cognitive Reasoning to normalize data issues like juxtaposition and anthology queries.

As a whole, I still believe,  Wolfram can’t be a Google Killer but it can augment “expert answering” space where Google has not affected yet. At the end, Google should either catch up to it, or least, gulp & burp on it.

OnLive – a Halo of Future

I have always been suspicious on game console because I felt it is still the old style. Just like, my father’s time TV, my time of PC and today time of Mobile, you just can’t buy and stay-happy-ever-after, instead you live in constant worry to compete with your neighbor upgraded and newer box/station/stick. Can you imagine who enjoy this vicious social circle, yes, its console vendors like MS, Sony and Nintendo. It is very well happening in my game life, I don’t wanna even dust off my 3 year “new” XBox as it does not sex me up anymore.

Anyways, what is more depressing from creative game industry point of view that game developers have to either stick to a walled garden or spend all life porting its electronic art. The end result, can’t play Halo my PC or PS3 Or Cult of War on XBox. That is BAD!!!onlive-logo2

Stumbled upon OnLive, that is a game changer idea. I found its On Demand game and no-platform features most exciting. This is the future of the game, an open world of gaming.

But, how the hell it works???  Gold jargon “Its Cloud Computing baby”!!! Term has been tossed around in every nook and corner of computing industry today. So here it is in your game too.

OnLive brings one of major differentiator that I can state: Actual game runs on server instead of expensive console.

Result: Makes  coördinate/action response come from server not from console.

Benefits:

  • Console independence
  • No hard disk limitation
  • Resume game from anywhere (Home PC or Office PC;)
  • Multiplayer game will be better coördinated with lesser lag time

Above observation came from my past attempt of writing my first network based multi-player game in 1996  using Java 1.0. Did make success, but could not build career out of it. 😦

Coming back to point, all you need to go OnLive is a great broadband connection and you are free from the fortress of walled garden of consoles. All the more, with 4G phones, hope OnLive will bring the experience there too. These disruptive ideas revolutionize the way we think.

Game Shopping, I am sure it will be cost effective as it is catering to everyone on Net compared to just handful who can afford a shining expensive console (unless you are fortune CEO to buy all).

This is missing bow in Google arsenals, I think Google should take it.

Can you beat it, Box/Station/Stick!!! No, because they believe in keeping you dearly in a cage.

Mobile App to Mobile Web

Just got rid-off Gmail Application by uninstalling it from my N82 …. reason …. Gmail mobile web interface got GREATER. There is a big shout around “Nokia shopped Symbian” news. I want to shun all the discussions about “Platform War” with a comment that platform will be mere base to install a mobile browser and my ecosystem of applications will be a set of Web Pointers, we call them “Bookmarks”.

Although I am in agreement with the analogy between PC and mobile platforms war, but end of day, I think better mobile browser will finish this battle of developing applications for multiple platforms. Web applications will do efficient transition into mobile web with help of Cloud computing on back-end.

Tell me who would like to download, install and uninstall applications on a mobile. Personally, I don’t have time to do this. I like to visit a mobile web site, have a experience and if I like it, I will bookmark it, otherwise forget it. It is very simple principle which these big corps can’t seems to understand. They love to react to what others are talking instead of feeling the street.

We all forget who killed desktop application market, no… it was neither platform war, nor application war, but it is malicious application developer who wants to hijack your PC(of past) and mobile of today. Even today,  having best virus checker running on my laptop, my heart still beats at 150 when I am about to install a new software.

Lets forget my problems and wear developer’s hat, two big issues pop up here.

  1. Porting application to all the platforms, “available” and “Android”.
  2. DRM rights for each platform.

Simple answer and solution is to develop a mobile friendly Web interface and let user browser through it.

Then there are other questions like applications deal with special hardware capabilities like GPS, accelerometer, Camera etc. I still hope that a capable browser can still integrate all these hardware interfaces through a new browser. Like a location-based browser.  I hope Mozilla is listening.

Location Based Browser for Mobile

I am dreaming …. I am concerned …. I am a server-side application developer.

mobile-checkinEveryone is talking about LBS (Location Based Services) for mobile and they are developing applications for the same. Google with Andriod, Nokia buying NavTeq and Yahoo going for “Go”.

Why everybody is developing their Location Aware Applications? If I have to install 10 software on my mobile, I am sure all of them will be reading my GPS info constantly from mobile and sending to their respective servers. First of all, it is sheer wastage of processing power of my tiny mobile and also the bandwidth (because applications may use their own protocol to transmit Location Coordinate) . It can be easily done if HTTP request has this parameter for Location Coordinate.

If I would change the scenarios a little bit. Instead of developing applications which send Location Coordinates to server applications, develop only server side application which work with Location Based Browser (LBB).

What the hell is LBB?

LBB is a normal browser with extended capability to send Location Coordinates in HTTP request itself.

What will it change?

It will change the world, the way people are developing and thinking about mobile applications. Instead of putting effort in development, installation, upgrades and porting application to different platform, stick to server side and rely on Location Based Browser and do the rest. I don’t see any difference when I compare between today’s Application revolution and evolution of desktop application maturing into Web Application. Do you remember how many software installations we used to do with Windows 95.

I will be awake and happy if browser companies can think and develop this feature into their browser. It will be similar transformation what we saw in desktop with browser presence.

Loki is a solution but it is still not for any other mobile web application development.

Mozilla, Apple, Google, are you listening?

These days, there is too much hoopla around LBS services. Actually, it needs only one dose of innovation to trigger consolidation just like Internet Browser did for desktop applications. Before HTTP era, every PC application used to maintain its user context for its own network, and then browser came and all the desktop applications flew to servers.

On mobile, there is same story where every application is trying to maintain user location for server to do some mobile magic. If a browser can do this job more uniformly, all the mobile applications will again start fly back to server. Yes, it is LBB (Location Based Browser)

Syncing Desire

My biggest challenge, after having my laptop hard disk crashed, was to look for a better service which can backup my data files and sametime, makes them available on my office laptop as well as on my mobile. I have tried FolderShare, GSpace, Box.net and Funambol. But till date, none of the service could win my heart. Also that my hope of having Google solution into this space sulked as Gdrive came crashing as mare a speculative news.

GigaOM reference to SugarSync file sync service also falls short of my requirement of data-on-my-finger-tip around-the-clock. Definitely SugerSync is a good service. But I have few thoughts with my hats.

syncme

  • As a developer, I would like to know more about technology used in it. Is it SyncML based?
  • As a user, I would like to go only with one service which can fill all my need of syncing everything from bookmark, contact, calender to files on all the devices. Will they expand into it?
  • As blogger, I would say Funambol is a closer solution, but they lack of File Syncing service. Will these two solutions (Funambol and SugarSync) ever come together under one umbrella?

Coincidently, I have been working on SyncML related technologies and solutions like Funambol. I am thinking of either

  • developing a full-fledge service to fill this GAP or
  • integrating these discreate entites into “Follow Me Data Sync System”. Any takers???

Weave me WebFox

I have been browsing Firefox plugin site for last two years…. for one very important solution to my Bookmarks Sync Up from Mozilla. All this while, I have tried Google Browser Sync and Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer. But I am never satisfied.weave-logo

I think it is very late move from Mozilla to venture into this project called Weave, which will centralized my data ( all type of bookmarks, RSS feeds and preferences) to one authetic place called Mozilla planet and provide me a uniform browsing experience with my data available on all my computing devices. This should have been an integrated browser solution from day one as both people and their computing devices are not singleton anymore.

I always thought that this kind of user data management can be a big potential for building new services around and we have already numbers of Social bookmarking solutions (del.icio.us, technocrati, stumble upon) out there which makes me happy but confused (which one to use?) At this point of time, Web King, Google has already taken consolidated lead into this area with Browser Syn and Toolbar, it will be a hard to catch run for Mozilla. Reason, why would I change if experience with Google is increasingly satisfying!!!

Mozilla could have bigger advantage in Social Web phenomena than Google who interestingly taken the responsibility of browser to share data in cloud and keep it available not only for users but for themself also.

I am firm follower of Mozilla and Google products, I would still look for synergistic solutions like:

  • To integrate my live bookmark of browser to get synchronized with Google Reader.
  • To integrate my bookmark of browser to get synchronized with Google Bookmark.
  • Browser controlled central place for all my public bookmark management.

Here, I am not advocating to make my browser super-powerful desktop application. But an browsing application which

  1. Make me mobile (on all computers and mobile devices)
  2. Maintain my identity (cookies, form data, history and passwords)
  3. Maintain my preferences (static, social and live bookmarks)
  4. Lesser number of plugin on my browser from competing vendors.
  5. Also able to sync my dictionary (my added words).

Where is Minimo?? Mozilla should have also got into a mobile browser market much earlier where Opera, IE and Safari are solidly gaining ground.

Mozilla should also develop a Firefox variant which can be installed directly on hardware. Beat the Google OS before it rises. Mozilla can become the force to reckon and they can capture very center of Cyber space.

This article seems like a preaching and beating to Mozilla. But these are just thoughts and passionate desires from my experience with their products.

Web 2.0 On My Car Dash, finally!!!

Taking ref from GigaOm articles, Dash Navigation has got it right and done a great job of bring two fantastic services together, namely GPS and Web 2.0. For me, Dash Express is an Internet enabled GPS (Global Positing System). As in past, we all gone heard from major like Google, Yahoo, etc tried to show us the dream but could not get it in reality. Dash Express is loaded to fascinate us with on the go telling us;

  • Better routes to get destination considering the traffic flow.
  • Better ways to get destination by giving us specific options to shop, eat and drink.
  • Better options to explore locality of route.

Features which I admire most,navigationcc160

  • MyDash: Allows me to create button and upload to Dash device through Internet.
  • Send2Car: Allows me to talk to car from my laptop to updates like addresses.

I am a dreamer and dream of “Total Recall” for features like,

  • Dash Express could interface the Robotic steering wheel and guide car on the road using traffic/motion sensors and live satellite images. Also it could also feel me for all my mood and just take me preferred beer bar or my type of restaurant (spicy Indian) while I am sleeping in backseat of my car.

What do you think?? I am sure, it is not very far fetched dreams and surely an inspiration for Dash and Delphi to come together.

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