This week the Consumer Electronics Show 2011 is running in Las Vegas and it is interesting to see that Philips has announced that is has brought Cloud Computing to home entertainment. The claim is that they will be the first brand to incorporate Cloud Computing into their lineup of televisions. The new CloudTV platform provides access to a number of Web applications such as social networking, user generated video games etc all accessed and navigated with standard remote controls.
This announcement by Philips is an example of Cloud Computing become part of everyday life for may people, in a way that is mainly transparent to them. However, is this really Cloud Computing or is it Philips making the most of the excitement around Cloud Computing to promote their products. I think the answer can be gleaned by going back three months and seeing Philips were prompting what they referred to as NetTV. The details sounded very much (exactly) the same as CloudTV !
I highlight this because it raises the question of what exactly is Cloud Computing? This is something that business and early adopters have been trying to work out for a while now as computing providers brand many products as Cloud Computing trying to increase sales, even when the products are not really Cloud Computing products. It appears now that the consumer market is following a similar trend with the same confusion for their customers.
The reality is that Philips CloudTV is not itself Cloud Computing, in the same way a home PC is not on its own Cloud Computing. What they both do provide is Access to Cloud Computing – they are a client to Cloud Computing, enabling users to access Cloud Computing applications and facilities. Vendors are not making it easy for people to determine exactly what Cloud Computing is and what the benefits are. That is why Learning Tree has developed the Cloud Computing Course, not only to define exactly what Cloud Computing is, but also to present its advantages and disadvantages. For those who want to know more but are time constrained, there is also the half day overview that can be attended remotely from your office or maybe from your home, using your TV if you have CloudTV !