Srinivas Reddy’s Weblog

My Tech Rants

Given Computing trends what new applications can we build?

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In a recent talk with a computing expert I was asked “given that today we have technology that can work on massive datasets to return results in few seconds what applications would you build?”  It’s a very interesting question that got me thinking and I would like to share some of my thoughts here. I had blogged in the past about some of these trends here and here, they provide a good context to think about potential applications for the emerging technology landscapes.

I usually prefer to look back at things before trying to imagine the future.  If we look back to the web history (not going to the whole computing history for now!!), we have come a long way from the first “you have got (e)mail” and your personal homepages (I can still remember creating my first homepage on geocities). The dotcom boom (with selling everything online theme) taught us many lessons (and brought a lot of money for survivors like Google, amazon, eBay,..) on what applications work on the web. The recent Web2.0 trends show us how we can use web as a platform (Facebook and twitter are possible the best examples here) to create collaborative social network driven applications. Given the current trends in High performance computing at commodity prices (be it recent announcement of Amazon to offer GPU as a Service or the many NoSQL based services out there to name a few) what are the next generation applications that can be built?

Before I can come up with my own list what are others building?  Augmented reality based applications (be it the Kinetic from Microsoft, mobile apps using augmented reality such as this,..) are a current rage. They leverage the latest hardware (read multi-core  processors, cheap flash memory),  software (read multi-touch OS) and (mobile) network innovations to create a new genre of applications. Data-Intensive scientific discovery (more details in book here) using data mashups are opening a whole new field of computing applications. Social software (as pioneered by likes of Facebook and Twitter) is becoming mainstream with many organizations opening up their datasets (be it Open government initiatives, open datasets in the cloud offered by firms like amazon,..). What we are seeing is applications enabling increasing collaboration across value chains ( be it in the form of consumer, employee or supplier networks). While we are seeing a lot of consolidation in the IT vendor space (greatly driven by the acquisition spree from Oracle), the traditional on premise software may well join the mainframes of the past. While the cloud based applications need scale to make some real money this is where we will see the most new applications. While some people may dismiss cloud as another deployment model only, having a system that can get real-time insights to its usage opens up whole new possibilities.

So to come back to my question “given computing trends what new applications can we build?”, the trend to make things smart (be it a smart planet as IBM puts it,  smart TV and smart Car  as some recent Google initiatives target, internet of things aiming to make the business web get more lean,…) will continue. Its just that the we now have more technology at a low cost that makes it possible to try to make some of the applications we dreamt about in the past into reality. But don’t expect the Star Trek  “Beam me up, Scotty” to be a reality any time soon Winking smile  Developing applications that would help people at the bottom of the pyramid lead a better life would possible be the applications that I would like to build.

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Written by srinivasreddy

November 28, 2010 at 7:37 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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  1. […] last blog post was about what new applications can be built, in this blog I would like to share my thoughts on how […]

  2. […] last blog post was about what new applications can be built, in this blog I would like to share my thoughts on how […]


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