Wearable cloud dumbs down smart devices

Article By : Vivek Nanda

A powerful wearable cloud that offloads processing and expensive hardware from connected devices, and does away with the need for many "smart" devices replicating processing hardware.

Most wearable and mobile devices have processors that are nearly 10 times slower than those in personal computers, limiting the types of applications you can run on them. To make up for this limitation, many mobile applications are powered by cloud servers, which not only requires constant communication over the internet but uploading of personal data to remote data centres.

The need for powerful processors and consumer expectations for high-performance applications have caused the design of wearable and mobile devices to be complex and expensive. If you want to own a smart watch, smart glasses, a smartphone and a wearable health device, you would end up spending anywhere between $2,000 and $3,000.

Ragib Hasan, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer and information sciences in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences, and Rasib Khan, Ph.D., a recent postdoctoral graduate student, believe they have the answer to your woes while addressing some new applications.

“Our overall approach is to create a generic atmosphere or platform that users can customize to fit their needs,” Khan said in an announcement. “The wearable cloud can act as an application platform, so instead of modifying or having to upgrade hardware, this wearable model provides a platform, and developers can build anything on top of it.”

Their aim is to have a powerful wearable cloud that offloads processing as well as some expensive hardware from devices. By connecting the terminal devices via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, a user utilizes the devices to request services via a user intuitive display and interactions. The computational task is sent to the wearable private cloud. This effectively turns the devices into “dumb terminal devices” or controllers.

Earlier this year, they presented the concept and prototype of a wearable cloud jacket at the 40th Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society International Conference on Computers, Software & Applications (IEEE COMPSAC). Using 10 Raspberry Pi’s, a jacket, 3 power banks and a small remote touchscreen display, Hasan and Khan brought all mobile computing solutions together into a single smart device.

[Wearable Cloud Infographic]
*__Figure 1:__ The cloud jacket could make the design of mobile and wearable devices simple, inexpensive and lightweight by allowing users to tap into the resources of the wearable cloud, instead of relying solely on the capabilities of their mobile hardware.*
__Next: Delegated experience »__

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