What I'm Reading - 5/8/2018
Three to five links every weekday - except when I'm taken into the desert.
The advent of edge computing as a buzzword you should perhaps pay attention to is the realization by these companies that there isn’t much growth left in the cloud space. Almost everything that can be centralized has been centralized. Most of the new opportunities for the “cloud” lie at the “edge.”
So, what is edge?
The word edge in this context means literal geographic distribution. Edge computing is computing that’s done at or near the source of the data, instead of relying on the cloud at one of a dozen data centers to do all the work. It doesn’t mean the cloud will disappear. It means the cloud is coming to you.
Does anybody really read their car's owner's manual? They're often hundreds of pages thick, with many pages existing only to cinch legal loopholes closed, and they're destined to occupy your glove box for the duration of ownership, or until the next trash pickup. Well, Mercedes-Benz can cut back on the thickness of some of its manuals thanks to its Ask Mercedes app, which the company says is now a permanent fixture for current premium models.
At present, owners of 2018 model year E- and S-class sedans who own an iPhone 6 or newer iPhone can open the app and use the camera and touchscreen on the phone to access details on the car's interior and functions rather than having to flip through the indexes of a paper manual. Once a feature's button is selected, the app communicates information on said feature via video, audio, and text.
Augmented Reality (AR) is still in its infancy and has a very promising youth and adulthood ahead. It has already become one of the most exciting, dynamic, and pervasive technologies ever developed. Every day someone is creating a novel way to reshape the real world with a new digital innovation.
Over the past couple of decades, the Internet and smartphone revolutions have transformed our lives, and AR has the potential to be that big. We’re already seeing AR act as a catalyst for major change, driving advances in everything from industrial machines to consumer electronics. It’s also pushing new frontiers in education, entertainment, and health care.
But as with any new technology, there are inherent risks we should acknowledge, anticipate, and deal with as soon as possible. If we do so, these technologies are likely to continue to thrive. Some industry watchers are forecasting a combined AR/VR market value of $108 billion by 2021, as businesses of all sizes take advantage of AR to change the way their customers interact with the world around them in ways previously only possible in science fiction.
I’m frustrated with this hell. I’m frustrated that the web’s promise of instant and free access to the world’s information appears to be dying. I’m frustrated that subscription usually means just putting formerly free content behind a paywall. I’m frustrated that the price for subscriptions seems wildly high compared to the ad dollars that the fees substitute for. And I’m frustrated that subscription pricing rarely seems to account for other subscriptions I have, even when content libraries are similar.
Subscriptions can be a great tool, but everyone seems to be doing them wrong. We need to transform our thinking here if we are to move on from the manacles of the ad networks.
Before we dive in though, let’s be clear: the web needs a business model. We didn’t need paywalls on the early web because we focused on plain text from other users. Plain text is easier to produce, lowering the friction for people to contribute, and it’s also cheaper to store and transmit, lowering the cost of bandwidth.