What would you do with twenty (or 100) times the bandwidth?

May 19, 2009 at 7:03 pm Leave a comment

future of ITThe annual Interop IT conference in Las Vegas kicked off last weekend, allowing IT companies and manufacturers to show us some glimpses into the future of Information Technology.   One of the most interesting conversations that was recently mentioned on the Inside Interop Blog posed the question:  what would you do with 20 times the bandwidth you currently have?  This may become a possibility very soon, so I thought it would be interesting to compile a list of future applications that could exist with a much bigger pipe (up to 100x what we have now).  I’d also like to open up the discussion to encompass increased speed on all different types of networks, whether it be connecting from your home office or via a mobile device.

1.  Cell Phone Video Conferencing…for real

Although this is a technology that is  possible with current 3G networks, it has not caught on yet with widespread use.  With the proper upstream and downstream speeds, a person will be able to effortlessly broadcast their visual persona while speaking.   This needs to be seamless in quality and transfer,  only dropping  out as much as a normal phone call would.   There also needs to be some advancement in the hardware available to facilitate looking at the screen while speaking (such as in a car).

2.  Super High Def  Live Video

Streaming video quality is currently still more limited than the latest display technology.  Whether it be a live video feed broadcast through a site like Qik.com or on-demand video from YouTube, all of this has the potential to be displayed in incredible high definition with the proper bandwidth.  You could watch your family across the country eat their thanksgiving dinner live, complete with high definition shots of mom’s homemade stuffing.

Two clubs, one in Rome and one in San Francisco, could ‘connect’ their dance floors by providing high definition live feeds to one another on massive screens.  This ‘portal’ could also allow visitors to talk with their international counterparts at specific designated video booths.  Sure, applications like this currently are possible, but who wants ’em when the quality is grainy.

3.  Multiple applications running simultaneously

Applications that are run from the cloud and accessed via our mobile devices will require an increasing amount of bandwidth. It is understated how important it is, especially for today’s mobile work warrior, to be able to run multiple applications at once.  As applications become more complex by mashing up several functions, it will be a necessity to have more bandwidth to run them.

4.   Games streamed straight to the device

Along the same lines as running more complex applications, games that require more processing but live almost completely in the cloud will require more bandwidth throughput.  MMORPGs will become more realistic and involve more in-game character interaction, which in turn will necessitate a very realistic (and speedy) data-return.

5.  Augmented Reality

Imagine looking through your cell phone camera lens and receiving real-time data about everything that you point it at.  You direct your camera at a painting and immediately get information about the artist, how much a replica would cost, and are provided the means to buy it on the spot.   Although this technology already exists to some extent, it needs more bandwidth to truly become useful.   The image processing needs to be in real-time and provide instant information to the end-user.

Applications such as these are guaranteed to be on their way as new 4G mobile networks like WiMax are rolled out, which provide far larger pipes for our data-transfer needs.  Companies like Clearwire and Cisco are helping pave the way with their technologies-  our network infrastructure already has used router and hardware infrastructure of theirs extensively.  As our thirst for higher definition, real time communication, and international connectivity increases, it is inevitable that the technology will meet the demand.

Entry filed under: augmented reality, cisco, futurist, information technology, interop, used router, wimax. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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