ActiveAether Does Coffee with Ms. Connected and Mr. IoT

Chief IoT Technologist at Deloitte Robert Schmid (Mr. IoT), along with Digital and Analytics Strategist Kelsey Carvell (Ms. Connected), host a weekly live YouTube event focusing on the more lively and interesting elements of the burgeoning IoT landscape. The pair brings on an influential guest or two from the tech universe every week for a half-hour “coffee break” to discuss their experiences helping to shape IoT into something meaningful and useful.

Ms. Connected and Mr. IoT’s most recent guests were Maria Gorlatova, an engineering professor at Duke University leading the Intelligent Interactive Internet of Things Lab, and Dr. Robert F. MacInnis, founder and CEO of ActiveAether and FogCoin, building a next-generation, global fog computing platform.

Maria kicked off the live webcast with a brief description of fog computing and its benefits over the traditional cloud model. More precisely, Maria described how fog extends beyond cloud to enable services to be deployed in a more geographically appropriate manner, rather than relying solely on a few consolidated data centers scattered about the world. Fog unleashes the full potential of the compute already all around us to power IoT, providing improvements to the cloud-only model such as lower latency and bringing advanced intelligence closer to the users.

Given his experience bringing real distributed computing applications to market, Rob was a natural complement to Maria’s academic bonafides. Rob’s current project is ActiveAether, a serverless computing platform for software develoeprs dynamically deploys services to the fog rather than cloud-only platforms like AWS Lambda. In ActiveAether’s fog, anyone with idle computing power can deploy services as a Host (and get paid in the process).

The productization of fog became a major point of discussion throughout. In discussing ActiveAether and similar networks powered by fog, Rob emphasized how consumers can participate in telecommunications infrastructure as a provider (in this case, of compute) rather than just a consumer. This is a powerful distinction, consistent with the democratization theme inherent to fog (and blockchain), and one that can easily be applied to other areas. These types of visionary initiatives bear the potential to incite a rapid shift in how centralized institutions interact with consumers. Additionally, they should start a major “thought audit” on the roles that institutions like telecommunications, banks, and certain government branches play in our daily lives, making us ask ourselves to what extent they are truly necessary in their current forms.

Maria and Rob also discussed Fog World Congress, an event taking place October 1–3 this year in San Francisco. The list of speakers will include respected professionals from the private sector and academia alike, including from goliaths Cisco, Dell, Microsoft, Intel, Google etc. Rob and Maria are both included in that already impressive group of speakers.

Check out the linked video and let us know what you think: what are the next great applications/frontiers in fog computing?