Cloud and mobile computing represent two of the biggest technology trends today, with each pushing processing closer to the edge. Within the traditional data center infrastructure, we see the gravitational pull of public and private clouds. With desktop and laptop computing, we are gravitating to superphones in the palms of our hands. This shift to data stored in the cloud and accessed on handsets opens the gates to new market opportunities, including one we profiled in the past on hosted video encoding. In short, making video that is the optimal size for streaming and fits the display for all kinds of devices is tricky, so hosting that capability in the cloud is a no-brainer for many market segments.
Today, Denver-based Encoding.com announced a suite of “Mobile Made Easy” video presets which make the propagation of video content across mobile devices a simple click-and-go process for publishers, further solidifying the matchmaking of cloud and mobile. The company has consolidated the necessary settings for publishers to deliver video to a range of mobile devices including iPhone/iPad (s AAPL), Android (s GOOG), BlackBerry (s RIMM), Windows Mobile (s MSFT), and popular Samsung and Nokia (s NOK) phones. Where it used to take time to work through device specifications, supported audio and video formats, bit rates and screen sizes, customers can now click by device platform, bypassing the low-level video settings.
Encoding.com also announced that Nature Education’s Scitable.com videos will be made available to popular phone platforms using the Mobile Made Easy presets. With the goal of “democratizing access to education,” Scitable is providing its free science library and learning tools to a global audience, including many people in developing countries where educational resources can be sparse. These kind of projects involving content distribution on a global scale provide an interesting glimpse into the future of worldwide computing and services.
While hosted video encoding is making inroads with web-centric businesses, conventional players in the traditional broadcast, cable, and communications arena have yet to make the full jump. Much like the public cloud and private cloud decisions, video encoding has plenty of server huggers who insist on having an on-premise solution, or declare that the hosted solutions can’t meet their expectations. Encoding.com counters these naysayers with a wait-time service level guarantee. I suspect we’ll continue to see new infrastructure solutions that fit squarely between the cloud and mobile computing.
In an earlier post on The New World of Infrastructure Apps, I noted that many of the companies and categories profiled have a heavy mobile component including Twilio in voice, SimpleGeo in location, and Urban Airship in mobile notification and purchasing services. I don’t believe the match is coincidental, rather that the cloud and mobile ecosystems will continue to feed off, as well as fuel, each other in many interesting ways.
What else are you watching in the cloud and mobile convergence space?
If you’re interested in more on mobile and its relationship with the cloud, be sure to check out GigaOM’s Mobilize Conference this Sept. 30 in San Francisco.
Gary Orenstein is the Host of The Cloud Computing Show