No matter what's in the cloud, how devices access that cloud will change soon. Rich Cheston, executive director and distinguished engineer for Lenovo, says, "It's shortsighted to view every endpoint as just a piece of gorilla glass. IT people want better security."
Cheston says Lenovo has developed technology that leverages the capabilities of the endpoint by introducing a way for cloud applications to interrogate clients and treat them differently. Need better security? If your laptop has a fingerprint reader, the cloud app can demand two-factor authentication, then tailor your access based on your increased security clearance. If the cloud application can tell if a laptop has a camera, it can automatically provide a videoconference option.
And your future office will leverage new tools to share information between devices. "My devices should know when I walk into a conference room, and that I have a conference scheduled at the time," says Intel's Tripp. "It should prepare an embedded projector in the room, and make the video connection, etc. This will be leaps and bounds forward. And if my phone has a GPS but my laptop doesn't, they should share information between them."
Englert at Xerox works with the Rochester Institute of Technology in her research. Students ask "Why can't your wall become your workspace," she says. "Walk into a room, and it will customize to you. Tools will become gesture based, not touch. Just look at a software tool, and it will automatically show up. But it's been interesting to see from the young people they wanted face to face interaction."
Intel's Tripp agrees. "It's hard to beat people in one room with a whiteboard for brainstorming with our current technology. Tech is getting there, and smart boards help, but there's value in the daily interactions people have. Hard to replicate walking into a room and working together."
Gaskin is a freelancer writer living in Texas. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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