We have available to us an increasingly unlimited amount of currently unused processing power on the web and an increasing need to reduce the complexity of the desktop. What if, in blending these resources, we could create a PC that had more capability than any we now have? And that made it cheaper, more power efficient, and made it instantly replicable?
These are just some of the amazing potential benefits associated with the concept of Polymorphic Dependability and the idea of a CloneCloud.
Basically you have a virtual PC in the Cloud that mirrors your PC and the two remain linked when you are online, dynamically shifting work load to where it can be done most efficiently. When offline the PC is just a PC but the clone in the Cloud can continue to function, doing virus scans, or calculations, searches, transcoding, analysis or other activities. When you connect again the instances sync.
The end result is you can have a PC that is effectively on 24/7 even though your personal hardware is only on when you are physically at your desk.
You could access the cloud version of your computer from your cell phone or a dumb terminal anyplace in the world and do a better job protecting it than if you were accessing your own PC. Of course all of our stuff would remain safe, backed up, and protected in the cloud so that if you lost your PC, were hit by a disaster, or had a hard drive failure you'd only have to connect to the service with a new PC to be back up and running with all your stuff again.
I'm starting to call concepts like this the Third Rebirth of the Computer. I think this represents where the market will soon go: using ever more capable appliance like computers and cloud services to transform the PC from the complex beast it is to the appliance we need it to be.
There were some amazing things at the Intel Labs event and I was both happy to survive the trip to and from it and get a glimpse of a better tomorrow.
In thinking about the event there was one other product that, while not as world shattering as the others, could be very disruptive to the current vendors. It was called RouteBricks and could conceivably replace all high performance routers with vastly cheaper and more flexible low cost server like hardware. I'm thinking that while most of this will allow me to sleep soundly, anticipating a better future, this last could keep companies like Cisco awake.