Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Cloud Computing For Mobile Phones

With mobile phones providing more and more capabilities for us not to be tied to a desk, the shear amount of data that is processed by the Mobile devices tend to affect the battery life and send us back to the desk much earlier than we wanted to.
If we could use our mobile phones as a terminal to a much more powerful computer on the net will reduce the power requirements on the phone and at the same time provide much better processing power. Just like the old days with main frames and dumb terminals, transformed to today with cloud computing and intelligent terminals. But where and how do we do that? The answer comes from two Intel Research Berkeley scientists Byung-Gon Chun and Petros Maniatis. They have been working on a project called CloneCloud, which is a cloud computing service that provide external processing power to mobile phones.
With high speed connections available for mobile communication, handing over of a phones processing to a more powerful clone in the cloud might save a lot of processing power on the phone allowing the battery to last much longer.
At the same time the clone will be able to extend the processing power of the phone. For an example, the researcher Chun created a facial recognition application. The application required 100 seconds to run on the phone, while the same task took just one second once offloaded to the cloud.
But it is not all rosy with clonecloud and there are many hurdles to overcome. Network latency and bandwidth limitations will affect the operations and as I mentioned, it will be not much more than a dumb terminal once in an area where there is no connectivity. But then again in a dead zone you will be doing very little work.
Sending Cell Phones into the Cloud (MIT Technology Review)


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