Recently, it was reported that HP has agreed a deal with Leap Motion to embed the motion-control technology company's 3D gesture technology within HP PCs. This gesture enabling technology can detect the movement of 10 fingers at once, using two cameras with three infrared LEDs in the controller to track hand movements (without even touching the screen). Leap Motion is even talking about having an app store called Airspace that is set to launch in May.
User interface disruptions like this should significantly shift how applications are written and used, allowing new ways to work with all the data and computing capabilities. Making the interface simpler (dispensing with the need for specialized gloves) and more intuitive is one way to improve productivity. Although this approach may now focus on PCs, I’m sure there will be efforts in the mobile space soon as well.
I wonder if someone will hack together a 3D scanner interface too, much like folks have done with Microsoft Kinects that Microsoft is now incorporating into the product SDK.
Flash memory was once viewed as special tool to improve performance or allow for easy transportation of information (e.g., thumb drive – I can’t recall the last time I gave someone a CD, let alone a floppy drive). Now flash memory devices are a standard component of any storage performance strategy.
As the Solid State Drive (SSD) came on the scene, it was used as a plug replacement for spinning media hard drives, providing better performance, but the characteristics of an SSD are actually quite different. The storage industry has only now started to design storage systems that take advantage of the differences in flash memory.
The Flash Translation Layer (FTL) translates the typical hard drive block-device commands and structure into comparable operations in flash memory. FTL is really a compromise for compatibility, since there is no need for the block and sector structure in flash. Additionally, the SSD controllers must perform a number of additional functions such as garbage collection, write amplification, wear leveling, and error correction, since the writeable life span of each storage cell of flash is limited (although there is discussion of a cure to this long-time flash illness). We’re going to see more applications that skip the need for FTL and take direct advantage of flash’s direct memory access capabilities.
High performance software capabilities such as databases currently circumvent the Operating System file system to attain optimal performance. Modern file systems such as Write Anywhere File Layout (WAFL), ZFS (which used to stand for the Zettabyte File System), and B-tree file system (Btrfs)are designed to take advantage of the various storage medias capabilities. The resulting systems were more efficient and easier to manage.
Storage system performance was a concern when operations were measured in milliseconds. It matters more on flash devices, whose operations are measured in microseconds. Future technologies like Memristor that will be even faster demand and optimized approach to long term storage and access of information. Compromises for convenience will exist but the penalties in performance will be high, impacting the application portfolio of organizations.
I recently came across an HP labs video on the excitement of one of the researchers on next wave developing to compute and gather information.
It shows some of the efforts to be more efficient and yet more powerful. Innovation’s role is in resolving conflicts like this, and that’s exciting.
The whole industry is at a tipping point where new generations of capability will be arriving simultaneously for computing, storage, networking and sensing… which should allow for a novel, innovative dimension of applications and services to take advantage of the new abilities and generate new levels of business value.
Lately when I’ve been thinking about an organization’s application portfolio, I’ve begun to evaluate them from a few strategic directions. Sometimes the work that needs to be done may be boring, but prioritizing the portfolio spend defines the innovative nature of a business and our measures may need to change...
Every once in a while I get into a conversation with someone who thinks about sensors and says something like “Yes, I can see some uses for sensors but not in my business”, so I have to give some examples...