October 23, 2014 — Emerging technologies within Small Cells, and Wi-F will offer up new gateways to deliver a host of products and services. By implementing edge clouds, which, in this scenario, take the form of powerful, on-premises software gateways, edge cloud technology provides the dedicated intelligence to support this next level of internetworking.
Through lightweight virtualization, these software hosted gateways can run multiple services applied to the particular location they are installed in, such as:
• Machine-to-machine (M2M) scenarios – Using “smartdust,” micro-electromechanical sensors (MEMS), and other sensors, edge cloud services have the ability to connect to a plethora of monitoring services such as surveillance, environment, building controls, traffic, infrastructures…the list goes on and on.
• Retail solutions – Having the ability to locate and communicate with mobile devices, there is an opportunity to deliver higher value to the consumers and the malls. For example delivering content based on location, implementing augmented reality, improving the overall shopping experience or dealing with secure online payment.
• Stadiums, airports, stations, theatres – Specific services can help manage all types of crowded places, in particular to deal with safety, security, evacuation or to provide new kinds of services to the public. For example, stadiums could broadcast (or multicast) live content to the public or airports could guide passengers to their gates through an augmented reality service. All these applications would leverage local content and conditions to be specifically adapted to their audience.
• Big data and analytics: Last but not least, the information gathered at this key point in the network can be leveraged as part of a bigger analytics initiative.
Ernest Worthman is the editor of AGL Small Cell Magazine.