Cloud computing is a scary concept for a lot of people, and it’s not an irrational fear when you look at the concept on its face: Your personal information and files are being sent out into a “cloud,” housed within a far-off server somewhere in the world that you won’t ever have physical interaction with. It’s a very convenient concept, but the idea of the cloud can be harrowing for those with a paranoid or controlling streak who may not implicitly trust something they can’t see and feel for themselves.
Well, for skeptics who need a security blanket in order to deal with the cloud, the answer may soon be on its way. Computer engineers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have developed a “cloud jacket” that aims to keep the cloud literally wrapped around those who wear it.
The jacket, which is only a prototype, has 10 Raspberry Pis that act as its “brain,” making it a living storage/microcomputer that doubles as functional fashion. It comes with three power banks and a remote touch screen that is aimed at better connecting all of a user’s devices, and outsources the computing power and storage from each device into the cloud jacket. The goal is to make each of these “smart” devices a little less-so by sharing power and storage, and therefore making each less expensive.
The jacket has roughly 10 GB of RAM and 320 GB of storage space, which makes it far more powerful than any smartphone, giving it the juice it needs to enable phones, watches, tablets and a bevy of other smart, “IoT” devices to connect via Bluetooth or WiFi and control data input. In essence, it gives users their own private, wearable network that keeps all of the personal data exchanged on their devices contained literally on their person.
While this is a great solution for the cloud averse, there are a bevy of applications like Fasetto that are cross-platform and can reliably exchange data in a secure setting even when there isn’t a direct internet connection. Since cloud jackets, at the moment, are firmly technology designed for the future, Fasetto may offer an easier way to get acquainted and comfortable with the cloud for those who are skeptics today.