The future of mobile is in cloud computing, and there is a growth of smart phones even in developing countries, according to Shayan Mashatian, president of the Institute of Mobile Technologies in Canada.
Mashatian was speaking at the Mobile Monday Cape Town seminar on the Samsung Mobile Innovation Laboratory (SMILE), recently established at UCT. SMILE is a multimillion-rand partnership to develop innovative mobile applications in response to unique African needs.
Mashatian said cloud computing - programs are run off remote, online servers rather than from a local server - is elastic, has massive scalability, and users can pay for only the resources they actually use and only the time required.
The key concern about cloud computing, though, is security and privacy. On top of that, mobile cell phones are not as secure as often thought and they can be easily hacked if not protected properly. The protection of personal data constantly collected by an organisation to ensure the privacy of users is the responsibility of service providers, developers and user organisations. Therefore, it is required to be incorporated in the design and not as an afterthought, Mashatian added.
As an example of using cloud for mobile for development projects, Mashatian spoke of a case in rural Uganda, where each village was given a smart phone to collect data and to provide agricultural information to improve productivity and fight diseases. The feedback was very positive, Mashatian said, adding that the project was being extended to the whole country.
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