Published on October 17th, 2013 | by James Smythe0
Keep Your Keys in the Cloud: Consumer Cloud Computing Innovations
For many of us, especially in the business world, it’s hard to envision the cloud as a real leap toward the future. Many business owners are already involved with the cloud and if not, then it’s likely they’ve had the idea pitched to them by someone ardently, breathlessly explaining the untold business benefits that getting cloudy can yield. And it’s true, it certainly can deliver innumerable advantages, but hearing about scalability and security and collaborative capability doesn’t exactly scream flying cars and pill-sized meals does it? Even at a consumer level, it’s often that the cloud is sold to us in a ‘use-the-internet’ kind of way, streaming videos and saving information, doing stuff we already do that’s less than leap-off-the-sofa-exciting. Fortunately, there are some brave champions of peculiar cloud innovation out there, doing their best to make us coo with intrigue and suspicion. Now, you can keep your house keys in the cloud!
Whilst we all keep our many accounts, passwords and information in the cloud (whether we’re aware of it or not) and many of us even store our documents, music, pictures and shared files there as well, the very idea of keeping house keys in the cloud immediately throws up some questions. Primarily, how could we keep something physical in a place that is solely digital? Well, of course, that’s not quite the full story. No, the alternative that American startup KeyMe have come up with, is to scan your key pre-emptively, save it to their cloud servers, and when disaster strikes (i.e. it’s late on a Saturday evening and you’ve gone and lost your key) you can call by one of their handy machines, located in a 7-11, and download a new one!
Baffling, questionable and unsafe, you’re no doubt thinking, however we’re assured this isn’t the case even slightly – quite the opposite in fact. Calling by a KeyMe kiosk will allow you to first scan your key into their database. Your address isn’t attached to the data the company hold on your key, and your account is safe and secure in the cloud, protected by both your email address and a finger print scan requirement.
If this sounds pricey, it’s certainly coming up cheaper than having to call out a locksmith as you wait around in the cold for hours on end. A pricey-but-worth-it $19.99 will allow the machine to cut you a new key from the scan it’s had stored in its database when you’re in a fix, and best of all, account sign up and data storage is completely free.
Pretty soon we’ll be uploading all our possessions to the cloud. With the advent of 3D printing, any lost or broken precious item will be instantly replaced by nipping out to the newsagents, loading up your account and finding which item you’d like to be downloaded back into existence. Perhaps. Exciting?
If you haven’t heard of home automation yet, you soon will have, as businesses are springing up left, right and centre that allow you to transfer the control of various household necessities to a single device in the palm of your hand. From lights, to fireplaces, to music and movies, home automation uses the cloud (in most cases) to hook every aspect of your home into a single system that can be activated and manipulated from your Android or iOS smartphone.
The possibilities are endless, from checking you’ve switched off all the lights once you’ve left the house, to warming up the living room before you get home from work, to checking who’s loitering around your front door from the other side of the world; this innovative use of the cloud is certainly one of the most exciting, both for home owners, and businesses keeping an eye on their premises.
We’re already streaming movies from a host of different providers, but future collaboration between gaming devices, TVs and smartphones/tablets means we’ll soon be using them a little differently. One such example service shows a user instantly and automatically presented with information about the movie he’s watching, including IMDB profiles and related data, on his mobile device and tablet. It’s an example of the cloud bringing our devices together to make our lives a smooth, accessible confluence of information.
So what do you think? Are you still excited for a world built in the clouds? Does your business take advantage of the cloud or do you at home? Lastly, how do you think the cloud will shape the way we live, work and play?
This article was written by Rob Vicars of Giacom Hosted Exchange. Tech enthusiasts who professionally bring cloud-based Hosted Exchange solutions to businesses! For more from Rob or to find out about Giacom, head over to their website today.