Edge computing – a new frontier for development
Posted by Ido Gur on Jul 20, 2020
Tags: • 5G • mec• edgecomputing • Industry 4.0
With the rollout of 5G networks and an increasing number of companies opting to develop edge computing services and devices, it’s becoming clear that edge computing will become a new platform for development.
Bill Gates famously said that a company creates a platform once the value of the people using it exceeds the value of the company that made it. If we take the examples of platforms such as YouTube, Amazon, or Microsoft itself, we can see what Gates meant. All these platforms allow their users to benefit from their services and develop their own products using platform resources. In that way, companies become ubiquitous and their reach is constantly expanding.
Edge Computing as a Necessity in Industry 4.0
Most applications and services we use right now rely solely on cloud computing services and data centers. With cloud computing, we have one central data point, and the data travels back and forth between the center and the end-user. For IoT devices, this represents a major issue. Information lags, and there is no way to perform real-time analysis and decision-making. 5G networks combined with distributed edge computing centers allow for much higher bandwidth and lower latency. In essence, these technologies finally make it possible to bring the computing close to the end-user.
Edge computing plays a key role in the advance of Industry 4.0 (source). Localized data centers and higher bandwidth will allow not only person-to-machine communication but also machine-to-machine. This is one of the features that can give rise to highly automated smart systems and factories, and it’s all made possible by edge computing platforms that execute data-based logic in real-time.
What makes Edge Computing a Platform
Once edge computing data centers and services are highly distributed and brought close to end-users, it will become that much easier to develop IoT systems and efficient AI analysis. One of the more obvious applications of edge computing platforms is the development of smart cities. Migrating the computing power to the edge of the network opens new horizons for creating closed loop controlled system like in, autonomous vehicles, healthcare, utilities and even in brick and mortar. In that way, a city becomes a platform into itself. Citizens can interact between themselves, their IoT devices, and the city infrastructure, making for an improved living experience, like in the Toyota Woven city project.
As we see these technologies more widely applied, the development of AR and VR applications and services will skyrocket. Developers will have the possibility to use the edge computing architecture and infrastructure to develop applications that were once impossible to imagine.
In essence, as edge computing architecture bring the high-powered computing directly to the users, everyone will become a part of the platform. From there, the sky is the limit for all possible applications and services that can be developed.