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Welcome to Next Next: Hewlett Packard Labs on technologies driving the future



By Curt Hopkins, Managing Editor, Hewlett Packard Labs

Welcome to the Next Next: Hewlett Packard Labs on the technologies and trends that are shifting the landscape and driving the future.

At Hewlett Packard Labs, our goal is to look past today’s emerging technologies, and try to come up with a realistic vision for the technology-enabled future that lies beyond. Today we’d like to introduce you to a new series of stories - Next Next – where we’re profiling the researchers behind the amazing innovations coming out of Labs.

In our first installment in the series, we’re profiling two exciting projects: Distributed Mesh Computing, our take on a more-responsive and less-bandwidth-intensive Internet of Things; and some recent breakthroughs that will allow The Machine to help reduce datacenter electricity consumption by making photonic data transmissions more cost effective.

In Distributed Mesh Computing, tiny devices in places like cars and buildings detect, process and store information locally, and then share only what’s relevant with other devices. The amount of data generated by IoT devices is expected to grow from 88 exabytes in 2013 to 4,400 exabytes in 2020, according to IDC. That’s likely too much data to send to the cloud, analyze and send back to devices fast enough for them to take timely action.

In the story, we talk about how DMC can help avoid that problem and the different challenges Labs researchers have faced building the hardware and developing the software.

The photonics story looks at one of the ways Labs is trying to reduce the amount of electricity data centers use, which, worldwide, is already more than all of the United Kingdom uses today. A lot of that electricity is just spent moving information around data centers.

As part of The Machine project, Labs researchers are developing ways to send data short distances using photons, or light waves, over fiber optic cables, instead of over copper wire via electrons. It’s something that until recently has been possible, but way too expensive to do at scale – but that thanks to recent breakthroughs from Labs, is now within reach.


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Managing Editor, Hewlett Packard Labs

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