Living On The Edge of A New Society
As working remotely has become common in the business world, the cloud has allowed for data to be retrieved securely. In order for the cloud to continue to better the lives of every worker and family, new developments must be put in place to increase bandwidth, speed, and safety. That development has already arrived with edge computing.
With better advancements in our world such as self-driving cars and defibrillator droids, there is an increased need for capacity in the cloud. Edge computing allows for greater cloud storage and high speed bandwidth, regardless of how much data is being used or how many devices are using it.
These new devices take information from the “internet of things” and work as a local center for processing information to determine what can be sent out to the cloud, and what is deemed essential to be kept in the edge computing device. Edge-gateways allow for a rapid transportation of information to and from the device, regardless of network connection. These edge devices are different from cloud computing because they process time sensitive data with limited connectivity to the centralized datacenter.
The implementation of edge computing will permit businesses to be quicker in their data storage and retrieval. For example, in the past, users needed to enter passwords on their phones to access the features inside, or purchase other applications; today we experience almost instant access to these devices with thumbprints or facial recognition. The edge device resides inside mobile devices, processing the data without having to transfer information to the cloud. This new advancement will allow real-time responses to all instant needs.
Not only will unlocking a smart device take less time, but with plans for 5G networks to become the new standard globally, edge devices can be utilized in all areas of life to ensure maximum safety, quality, speed, and reliability. This new network will provide people everywhere with enough connectivity to download, stream, play, or do anything from anywhere.
The next way edge computing will simplify lives is through smart homes. Smart homes are electronically enhanced hubs and controllers that place all management of a home over the Internet. Lights can be turned off, thermostats can be raised, and security cameras can be set, all with the touch of a button on a mobile device.
This development allows for consistent access to one's home whether at work, the gym, or even traveling across the country. Smart home devices have previously been viewed as unsafe because the homeowner’s personal information ends up in a remote server in the cloud, easily accessible. Edge computing has redefined the smart home enhancements because the processing of data occurs in the smart home itself. This allows for only non-sensitive information to be sent to the server, securing the privacy of the user.
Also, edge devices are being produced in self-driving cars, to ensure the safety of those in and around the car with instant decision-making. Without each car being equipped with its own edge device, information of an obstacle in the road would take too long to transfer from the car, to the cloud, and then back to the car. These edge devices provide quick decision making without data ever leaving the car.
Edge computing has bettered the world around us by ensuring high speed responses to ever changing and improving data. The Apple Watch acts as a platform, a mini edge computer for an individual. This small device connects to the Internet and an ecosystem of apps that will continue to grow in features and functions.
For example, today the Apple Watch can receive calls and texts without a phone nearby and can also be used as a second factor of authentication to securely access corporate networks. However this platform has another purpose, to track the health and wellness of the wearer. In the future, who is to say that the watch will not be able to dial 911 if no pulse is felt on the wearer’s wrist, or if the watch will be able to display all need to know health information on the screen without a passcode?
The past few years, researchers in Sweden have noticed specific areas where EMS response times are too high to be helpful. They knew something had to be done and started sending droid defibrillators to people in cardiac arrest by utilizing geolocation.
The possibilities are endless for edge computing as it continues to move closer and closer to the individual user. The next generation platform of wearable technologies, like the Apple Watch, will continue to revolutionize interactions in our businesses and professional lives to bring forth immense safety and productivity.
Finally, the COVID-19 virus has validated the importance and the capability of edge computing. The years of building our hybrid clouds, distributing workloads, and utilizing network connectivity and capacity have paid off. With corporations implementing WFH (Work From Home) mandates, this has forced workers to not commute to the worksite, but instead work from home or other remote locations who had not before.
Many business leaders believe that COVID-19 will change the workplace forever, moving in the direction of permanent remote working. In addition to working from home, the edge computing platform has improved the guaranteed experience in social, non-work related behaviors. The ability to stream movies, post videos on social media outlets, communicate with friends and family over FaceTime, or even order supplies from Amazon provides for a better quarantine experience.
The continued development of edge computing has allowed for a lifestyle that can function seamlessly without personal contact or interaction, a necessity in our world today.
Written by by Kaley Lyons, Edited by Michael Ding & Alexander Fleiss