Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Cell chip....

Many of you technically savvy types may already know about the IBM Cell chip and what it might represent to the future of computing. For the rest of the population in the dark on the Cell, let me ramble on a bit about this highly cool and potentially scary piece of technology.

What we're really talking about here is more than just a new chip built by IBM (with some help from Sony and Toshiba). This is way more than that, it's an entirely new architecture for a mammoth and large worldwide computing network that identifies each cell enabled device on it easily. Not only will it blow away past computing standards but also increase other capabilities on a global network level too. The design and architecture will allow for one Cell enabled device to search out and identify other Cell enabled devices. Remember Sony? In fact, a guy named Ken Kutaragi from Sony was the catalyst behind this whole concept and he approached IBM to assist with the project back in 2000. So that means, you guessed it the new Sony Playstation 3 will be Cell enabled, faster, smarter, stronger....And by the way traceable! That's right it's conceivable that Sony will be tracking your game playing on the console via the Cell. NO SECRETS!

So what does this mean for small business owners, well, over the next couple of years or sooner when you go to upgrade computers, they may have something of a Cell architecture for it's base design, if you buy IBM that is as they have the patent on the Cell of course.

Big picture time: Superfast, supercomputing on a chip leads to tracking across any and all devices. Your computer talking with my PDA, his cell phone, her laptop and the network down the street from Trump Towers all at the same time, but that's just the start and the most obvious. One of the fastest ways this happens would be through telecom companies I imagine, but also device manufacturers other than IBM. Big Blue screws up on a daily basis losing Billions in potential revenue because as smart as they are, they're just as stupid in other ways - (don't get me started, their too big to be able to fix it themselves).

Speculation follows: I'm sure they'll license this technology to say, Nokia or Motorola in the cellphone space. Possibly GE for easier fridge communication, and we already know Toshiba's in there, so that means tracking your TV. Yes, folks soon we'll be surrounded by devices from your toaster oven to your vehicle, all Cell enabled and talking trash to each other while fulfilling Bill Gates' dream of prolific software over any device, any time, any where; and as you know Bill and IBM go way back, so new conversations are taking place I'm sure of it.

We're one step closer to a world where you the average Joe or Judy walk down the street, directional speakers (the speakers already exist and have existed for sometime) deliver a "personal"marketing message so only "you" can here it. This happens because the network has identified you through a Cell enabled device. Privacy issues aside, believe me it will happen, slowly at first, tracking within a game console so that Sony can then deliver more product tailored to your likes as a consumer, sneaky? Sure, but when did that ever stop a certain business segment before?

Hopefully, Sony and other companies using this technology will be forced to put the power of tracking in the hands of the consumer and allow for a on/off button. This in my mind must be a opt-in capability wherever possible, then I become very excited for the future of small business marketing and product development. Realtime tracking, consumer surveys all generated from people who have AGREED to allow it to happen, a big difference from much of today's realtime tracking - yes, it would be a perfect world.

Also by the way, I'll never claim that my Geek powers are super strong. Point of fact, I have no formal Geek training, I'm just fascinated with new tech advancements and how they impact business. It's my firm's job in fact to know about anything that can aid in your success and we do our best to keep up with the world of change around us so you don't have to.

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