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Forget computers! Remember computing!

If the last 30 years were characterized by the increased presence of computers (from mainframes to personal computers), the next 30 years will be marked by the gradual "disappearance" of computers and increasing presence of "invisible computing". In fact, computing resources (embedded chips) will be present in hundreds of billions of devices making computing ubiquitous, pervasive and invisible. Your cellular phone will give you access to the Web and be a digital camera, your refrigerator will call the repair shop when it is in need of repair or adjustment, game consoles will be powerful computers, etc. At the other extreme, computing power will reach new magnitudes, allowing us to do calculations which are only dreams today, such as protein-folding and thus genetic adaptation of medicine to each human. One way or the other, our daily lives will depend on computing at many levels.

Micro sensors will change the way we interact with objects and our environment. Objects, in turn, will communicate with each other to facilitate and simplify our lives. Object to object communication will travel across networks, both wired and wireless. Today's networks (such as the Web) and the networks of the future (wireless, and the Next Generation Internet) will facilitate these interactions and communications. These networks will "wrap" the world, providing it with a "skin" that senses, reacts, etc.

Informatics In the next 30 years we will continue to witness an explosion in communication technologies satisfying our need to communicate not just with other people, but with information, entertainment, and "things" --anytime and anywhere. We have consistently underestimated our needs in these areas. The success and popularity of now basic communication technologies (the cell phone, notebook computer, compact disk, DVD and the world wide web) illustrate human's personal and business communication needs.

We now live in a world where a "network-centric universe" is rapidly evolving and changing the way we live, from communication, to business, to entertainment. A "networked world" is good because it will help individuals interact with others in ways never before possible. The Web allows us, in real time , to make travel plans and reservations, participate and interact with our government from home to find out about grants, programs, and pending legislation. We can interact with financial institutions, look for the best deal on a mortgage, buy a car, and make financial transactions using "on-line banking". The Web allows us to participate in a new economy, where price changes instantly, following supply and demand in ways never before thought possible. You can make an instant offer to purchase a "perishable good" such as an airplane seat or a hotel room . You can also form instantaneous alliances with others around the world to collectively buy large quantities of a product at prices that decrease depending upon the quantity to be purchased It is a new world where instantaneous changes in prices are possible, not possible in bricks and mortar stores or catalogs.

Today, large and small companies are using the Web to communicate with their partners and suppliers, connect with their back-end data-systems, and transact commerce. This is e-Business. This is the place where the strength and reliability of traditional information technology meets the Internet. A place where businesses can identify, select, acquire, develop and retain profitable customers. This networked world also allows consumers to interact with businesses anytime and anywhere, in a very personalized way. Furthermore, new technological advances in Grid Computing, Autonomic Computing and Open Systems allow businesses to respond almost instantaneously to a fast changing marketplace. We are living the dawn of a eBusiness on Demand era.

We are also declaring that "The PC era is over" and we are ushering in a new era called "Pervasive Computing". Pervasive Computing is where two new and different scenarios converge: smart devices (hand-helds, cars, watches, etc.) and a smart network that connects people, businesses and devices anytime, anywhere. No need to dial up with a modem. Everything will be connected to the new information "utility"; the Internet.

The explosion in communication technologies has prompted an equally large explosion in the amount of data transferred, stored and manipulated. Businesses are emerging to try and distill useful information from the mountains of data gathered from transactions, commerce and buying habits. These businesses are performing "data mining" or "business intelligence". Data mining can help uncover insurance fraud or show a supermarket chain which products complement each other. It can help a business better understand it's customers. Data mining requires a large amount of computing power. Projects like IBM's "Deep Blue" (the computer which beat world chess champion Gary Kasparov in 1997) have paved the way for Data Mining to become a reality. Beyond Deep Blue is IBM's recently announced (Dec. 6th 1999) project to build the world's first petaflop computer named "Blue Gene" with approximately two million times more computing power than today's high-performance desktop computer. IBM scientists and engineers hope that "Blue Gene" will help medical professionals better understand how to prevent and combat diseases.

This new networked world where intelligence is embedded and, literally, everything becomes a computing device has its acceptance and success wholly dependent upon societal, political, cultural and economic factors that are very difficult to predict. Our challenge is to go beyond great servers, gigantic databases or fantastic service; we need to invent this new world and ... make it work !!


[an error occurred while processing this directive] Última atualização: 07/21/2011
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