The EU cloud: Integrating the paradigms of cloud computing and sensor based interaction(Internet of things)

When I spoke at the TOWARDS THE DIGITAL WORLD IN 2025 event at the European parliament in Brussels last week , Prof Dr Lutz Heuser – Vice president SAP research and Chief Development officer of SAP mentioned the fascinating idea of an EU cloud

This vision is extremely interesting to me considering my interest in the ideas of beyond Web 2.0 – and the internet of things (a forthcoming book)

The idea of an EU cloud extends the ideas referenced from Tim O Reilly

As Tim said:


And that of course is the future of mobile as well. A mobile phone is inherently a connected device with local memory and processing. But it’s time we realized that the local compute power is a fraction of what’s available in the cloud. Web applications take this for granted — for example, when we request a map tile for our phone — but it’s surprising how many native applications settle themselves comfortably in their silos. (Consider my long-ago complaint that the phone address book cries out to be a connected application powered by my phone company’s call-history database, annotated by data harvested from my online social networking applications as well as other online sources.)

Put these two trends together (sensor based interaction and cloud integration), and we can imagine the future of mobile: a sensor-rich device with applications that use those sensors both to feed and interact with cloud services. The location sensor knows you’re here so you don’t need to tell the map server where to start; the microphone knows the sound of your voice, so it unlocks your private data in the cloud; the camera images an object or a person, sends it to a remote application that recognizes it, and retrieves relevant data. All of these things already exist in scattered applications, but eventually, they will be the new normal. This is an incredibly exciting time in mobile application design. There are breakthroughs waiting to happen. Voice and gesture recognition in the Google Mobile App is just the beginning.


A cloud set up by a company (unlike an EU cloud) has a flaw in the sense that it is not designed to be interoperable.

In contrast, a cloud set up by the EU if architectured correctly, can be invokable at a process level.

In that sense, it is like ‘powered by the EU cloud’ and that is a powerful paradigm especially when coupled with sensor integration at a device level

Thus, if we integrate the trends of sensor based interaction and cloud integration, we get a truly interesting phenomenon

The cloud needs to be invokable at a process level because then it is truly vendor agnostic (and hence a role for the EU)

This idea takes Web 2.0 beyond the business model of advertising because every device becomes the creator of metadata (just like Web 2.0 makes individuals as creators of metadata). Hence, in a world of beyond Web 2.0(Web 3.0/Internet of things model) – the concept of harnessing collective intelligence extends beyond individuals to devices.

Couple that with payments from mobile devices etc – then we have a truly stable business model based beyond advertising – but still extending the ideas of Web 2.0 like harnessing collective intelligence but to devices coupled with a cloud paradigm