The Future of Computing

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           The Future of Computing

The Future Of

               Robert Bostock

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                                                               The Future of Computing

                      The Future of Computing

         The reason I are writing this report is to explain where the super companies
of the computing world are trying to develop and what the computer world could look
like in the not too distant future The problem I see is that the computer industry is
competitive, software companies are going to have to work together and their
programmes and equipment need to be interactive. The purpose of this report is to
try and explain what I think the future of computing is, how it will work, the problems
associated with achieving this and scenarios explaining how it will work. I have
included a glossary of terms at the back of this report to explain some of the terms.
The information for this report was gathered from the Internet and includes
information from Microsoft Research, Ray Ozzie of Microsoft, Dan Farber of CNet
News, Adam L Peneburg from Fast and Mark Hackman of PC World.
This report is about what I think the future of computing is and that future is spatial
computing. It is about cyberspace being a virtual equivalent of the world as we know
it and the computing world being interactive. Now we start to look into the future of
computing and that future is “Spatial Computing”, which is computers operating as
natural interfaces with seamless computing, which is quick and easy to use and will
become the mainstay of computing for hundreds of millions of people around the
world. It will become the world’s information centre, with cyberspace becoming a
copy of our world.
         Envision a world populated by virtual presences using a combination of client
and cloud services. This is the next generation of computing and it is called “Spatial
Computing” and it has many attributes, many core processors, parallel programming
and all seamlessly connected and fully productive. It is context aware and model
based, personalised, humanistic and able to adapt, three dimensional and immersive
utilising speech, vision and gestures. (Ray Ozzie 28/10/10)
Craig Mundie from Microsoft Research (Dan Farber 25/9/2008) gave an example to
illustrate an example to illustrate the concept of spatial computing. Microsoft tested a
new virtual reception assistant in some of its campus buildings. The assistant which
takes the form of an avatar helps schedule shuttle reservations to get people to
various locations across their Redmond, Washington campus. It was also able to
distinguish between students and visitors by the style of clothing they were wearing.

      Microsoft Prototype Reception System (Credit Dan Farber Cnet Now’s)
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Eventually companies and businesses will be putting in assistants who can guide
robotic interaction. There is a wealth of opportunity for this and it will allow people to
develop applications and change the way people interact with computers.
In another scenario which offers a glimpse into Live Web, you live in New Zealand,
walk into a magazine retailers and take a photograph of a piece of art with your
smartphone, you get back to your home and place your phone on your Microsoft
Surface Technology Table. The pictures on your phone shows up on your surface
table screen, the system analyses the image to determine how to use the photo as a
way to pursue the next step in a virtual web world. The system finds a digital version
of the magazine and you can start exploring the magazine pages. From the
magazine you can select the art object, go to the virtual store where the object is on
display. The three dimensional store environment is put together with Photosynth
Technology and is interactive. You can walk through the store, have a text or voice
conversation with a store representative. Watch and examine three dimensional
views of the art object, purchase the object, get it shipped to your home and you are
able to do all this from your lounge.
Imagine never having to go to a supermarket again. You could virtually walk down
the aisle, loading groceries into your virtual trolley, pay for them and have them
delivered to your door later in the day.
Also using a smart handheld device (i.e. phone/I pad) loaded with your personal
profile could be used to easily navigate in a physical space. Pointing the device at a
particular area could show local information such as bus timetables and routes,
maps of the area, shops you could be interested in and all this information is derived
from your personal profile. This is an illustration of the power of the client and the
cloud and it is “spatial computing”. To do this you need to have a to and fro between
local and centralised data services.

(© Microsoft)
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As it stands programming tools will play a crucial role in the emergence of special
computing. To create a kind of parallel universe – a cyberspace version of the
physical world, everyone has to contribute on a continuous basis. Sensors and users
will be operating trillions of bits of data which requires addressing, concurrency, and
complexity in a more loosely coupled, distributed and asynchronous environment.
(Ray Ozzie 28/10/10). At present current tools are not designed to address this level
of system design and there has to be a change in the way applications are written. At
present software development hasn’t progressed enough to become a formal
engineering discipline. The resilience of current systems are not up to the task. We
have to develop programmes and applications to make the transition to a parallel
programming environment with highly distributed concurrent systems. It is not
possible at this time but it is required to achieve these capabilities.
In addition, creating a virtual environment that reflects the real world and is available
to millions of people around the world requires a lot of programmers. If we want
people to know how to do this we have to make it easy for them and mask its
complexity. We have to programme computers to have the equal of human senses
that can operate well together. This is how we will get natural interfaces.
The challenge for these companies who have the dream of natural interfaces and
seamless computing will be turning their lab demos into real products and services
that will work. With the Internet as their platform, there will be plenty of competitors
and partners in their quest to realise the future of computing. Spatial Computing.
Who knows where we will be in a hundred years, perhaps computers will be the size
of microchips and implanted in us, screens could be seen through glasses or some
Par equivalent form, we could be identified by scanners as we walk into businesses
and personal details or profiles brought up on screens in the store, medical
information and diagnoses could be done without seeing a doctor. Wouldn’t it be
interesting to know where computing will be in a thousand years.

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Parallel Universe: A parallel universe is a cyberspace version of the physical world

Photosynth Technology: Photosynth Technology is a software application that
analyses digital photograph’s and gene rate’s a three dimensional model of the
photo’s and a point cloud of a photographed object.

Point Cloud: A point cloud is a set of vertices’ in a three dimensional coordinate
system, These vertices’ are usually defined by X, Y, and Z coordinates.

Cloud Computing: Cloud computing is Internet based computing whereby shared
resource’s software and information are provided to computer’s and other devices on

Avatar: An Avatar is a computer user’s representation of themselves or their alter
ego whether in the form of a three dimensional model used in computer games or a
two dimensional icon used on Internet forums and other communities.

Surface Table Technology: It is a multi touch product which is developed as a
software and hardware combination technology that follow’s one or more users to
manipulate digital content by the use of gesture recognition.
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Anonymous, (n.d) Microsoft Surface, Wikipedia Common’s, Image retrieved 28/10/10

Lawrence Lessig, 2000, Code and other Law’s of Cyberspace, Basic Book’s,
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Anonymous, (n.d), Cloud Computing, Wikipedia Common’s, Image retrieved

Anonymous, (n.d), Photosynth Technology, Wikipedia, retrieved 29/10/10

Anonymous, (n.d), Point Cloud, Wikipedia, retrieved 29/10/10

Dan Farber, 25/09/2008, Microsoft’s Mundie outline’s the future of computing, image
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