‘Personal cloud’ access to be included in 90% of devices by 2013

Dropbox, Apple iCloud, Mezeo…There are a fair number of personal cloud products out there and they’ve changed the way we view storage. Taking your documents with you once meant carrying physical storage devices everywhere you went. Now all you need is an internet connection.

Thing is, we all know this. What we might not know is that the cloud could also completely change the way we access content across our devices. Think about it. If your smartphone is grabbing everything you need from the cloud it could break completely free from its own physical storage limitations. You could also stop playing a game on it, only to pick it up your tablet a few hours later and play from the same place. Sounds great right.

A future in which such a scenario becomes the norm may not be all that far away.

Leading research company Gartner reckons that 90% of all connected consumer devices will include cloud services for accessing content by the end of 2013.

Gartner managing vice president Andrew Johnson reckons the emergence of the personal cloud reflects people’s desire to seamlessly store, synch, stream, and share their content regardless of device or platform.

Say for instance you’re watching a movie on your tablet and want to pick up where you left off but on your TV. A number of cloud services such as Netflix, allow you to do precisely that.

Others such as Google Apps, Amazon Cloud Player, Microsoft SkyDrive, and Apple’s iCloud operate on the same principle but for different purposes.

Johnson reckons that the cloud could be crucial to the survival of brands in the future and that they “must stretch across multiple devices, platforms and services” if they are to keep customers loyal.

The biggest change in the last couple of years, says Johnson, has been “the growing adoption of mobile and portable devices”. The limited storage capacity of these devices means they rely heavily on the cloud.

“What distinguishes the personal cloud from what came before is its ability to store, synchronise, stream and share as needed,” he adds. “Importantly, this allows consumers greater flexibility in choosing devices and platforms.”

This doesn’t mean traditional storage will disappear entirely. Instead, it will be augmented by the consumer personal cloud. So while personal cloud storage will become widespread in the next few years, Gartner reckons that in 2014 less than 10% of people will use cloud services as their main storage.



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