Right now, the term “Cloud” brings to mind easy storage solutions or ways to communicate — you can store your photos or files in the cloud using services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud or OneDrive, while WhatsApp chats too are backed up to cloud servers. Cloud computing can be defined as the delivery of on-demand computing, which is possible only with high connectivity speeds — 5G. The rollout of 5G will provide the much-needed horsepower for more robust cloud computing applications, including industrial automation powered by the Internet of Things. A NASSCOM report suggests that India stands to gain immensely if it takes to cloud adoption faster. The report in fact warns that the country could lose around USD 118 billion in GDP contribution and 50 lakh jobs by 2026 if cloud adoption is not accelerated. From metaverse to self-driving vehicles, from watching movies to playing games, here’s how the nebulous Cloud will power our future.
1. Connected, automated cars | We have been hearing a lot about self-driving cars over the past couple of years, with big tech companies like Tesla and Google — and potentially Apple — jumping on the autonomous bandwagon. Driven by 5G technologies, a connected network of automated cars that communicate with each other is very achievable. In fact, if automated cars are connected and can “talk” to each other in real-time, something that’s possible only with 5G-level speeds, then the big worry about autonomous vehicles that they may not react in time to avoid accidents, will be negated. E-commerce companies could greatly benefit by automating last-mile deliveries, making sure you get your order faster. (Image: Reuters)
2. Tele-robotic surgery | Cloud computing is not only an Internet-based data storage system. Powered by 5G, it also helps in the creation of a real-time network through which many disruptive technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, and smart embedded devices — the Internet of Things, basically — can connect for many purposes. Some of these include telemedicine, personalised medicine, and AI-based robotics surgery. Powered by AI and real-time cloud computing, surgical robots could reach a stage where they are able to control the trajectory, depth, and speed of their movements with great precision, aiding surgeons in long, complex surgical procedures, especially those that require the same, repetitive movements as robots are not susceptible to fatigue. Robots can also remain completely still for as long as needed and can go where traditional tools cannot. (Image: Reuters)
3. Control and automation of Industrial machinery | Cloud computing will have increasing use in manufacturing and production processes. Smart manufacturing is a way of allowing computers and devices to communicate with each other — another application of the Internet of Things — to optimise productivity and efficiency. Cloud computing can make smart manufacturing possible for companies regardless of size, making for an easier environment in which to manufacture. This will benefit small companies, especially, as cloud computing results in increased reliability, cost savings, and scalability. Less time wasted in updating computers, shorter time to the market and centralised management. (Image: Reuters)
4. Augmented and virtual reality | This is where things start getting interesting. We are already seeing applications based on Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) around us. Metaverse is being widely touted as the future of the internet and a virtual universe in which we — using avatars — can live, laugh, love, attend classes, go to work, or play sports is a near-certain possibility. And you guessed it — this will be made possible only through cloud computing, powered by the promise of robust 5G. Imagine a scenario in which through a simple AR/VR/MR headset, you are able to roam the world. That is the Promised Land for us, a future driven by cloud computing. (Image: Reuters)
5. Video streaming | You think you have it good now with high-speed internet and 4K video streaming? This involves uploading a hefty video file to a server and allowing it to be accessed by millions of people worldwide — a situation which can (and does) sometimes result in pixelated videos, loss in video quality or worse, an inability to stream. Now, imagine if you will, a situation in which it gets even better — you click on a movie only for it to be instantly loaded on your device at the highest quality possible so that you can enjoy uninterrupted binge-watching. It won’t be just Netflix and Chill, it will be Netflix and Chill right now! Basically, cloud computing in the future can give us low latency (the time taken between us sending a request and a remote computer processing it) and higher speeds — manna for the binge-watcher in you. (Image: Reuters)
6. Gaming | Watching shows or movies is not your thing? Then how about gaming? The one thing that is holding back gaming from becoming a true powerhouse is the lack of infrastructure. Google, Microsoft, NVIDIA and Sony have dipped their toes in cloud-based gaming, but a lack of required, consistent internet speed and infrastructure has made it impossible for a majority of gamers to stream and play games at the best quality possible. NVIDIA offers a service with which you can stream games even on a low-end computer, but currently, the experience is full of lag and jitters and awful resolution. Cloud computing and, of course, 5G, could well resolve this, providing instant, smooth and high-speed game streaming — you don’t even need a powerful gaming rig to be able to instantly play the latest and best games. All will need is a subscription. That’s how cloud computing can infinitely improve your gaming future. (Image: Shutterstock)