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New software allows users remote, real-time access to home computer hard drive files and applications via smart phone browser
DALLAS, TX – July 21, 2015 — /BackupReview.info/ — The familiar model for cloud computing is one in which personal computers hold less and less in terms of files and applications. The home computer is a simple gateway to the cloud platform, but local resources are basically idle. In an unexpected role reversal, Dallas-based Cognitier, Inc. has released software to remotely access files and run applications already on the home computer from across the internet.
The HomeWeb product acknowledges the computer-owning public’s existing investment in high-capacity machines and applications, and it seeks to take advantage of it. If a person’s priority is greater accessibility to his or her computer, then the personal cloud is a logical option.
In a typical cloud-computing scenario, the user designates files to be copied to the cloud, along with a schedule for these transmissions. This gives the user remote access to the set of files designated ahead of time, and the copy on the cloud is as fresh as the last transmission. If a file or directory is not included in the cloud-backup routine, then it simply is not accessible remotely. Also, in the case where there is a large file on the computer which changes frequently, it may not be practical to maintain a copy of the file in the cloud which is always up-to-date.
In the reversed-role scenario, all files on the computer are always accessible with their up-to-the-minute contents.
Until now, consumers who have needed real-time access to their home computers have relied upon remote control applications which render a virtual desktop on the remote computer. If a person’s real need is to view a particular file or retrieve the output of a simple function, then the overhead of logging into a virtual desktop, navigating to a file, and launching an application on the virtual desktop to view the file is burdensome.
In addition, remote desktop sessions in general are not smart phone friendly. The personal cloud approach provides a file-viewing paradigm which is more akin to typical cloud computing, where the target file is rendered directly in the smart phone’s browser with just a few taps. Also, whereas a virtual desktop provides a view into a single computer, the HomeWeb product provides access to multiple computers simultaneously. Users who own multiple computers have the ability to search for a file on all of them at the same time, for example, and quickly view the copies of the file found on each computer.
Advanced users of cloud computing have taken advantage of the ability to share files and run applications in the cloud. However, there are inherent limitations because the cloud platform is shared among many users, and the provider cannot allow individual customers to run amok. Certain advanced users find this constraining because they have needs to run non-standard applications or access native features like the base operating system or peripherals. In the case where the user is accessing his or her own computer, the constraints are lifted because the computer owner is effectively his or her own cloud platform provider.
Personal cloud security is handled in the manner many users have come to expect. There are layers of authentication and encryption along with thorough auditing. The user is authenticated to access the HomeWeb, and then the home computer performs separate authentication of any remote requests. Transmissions between the smart phone browser and the home computer are encrypted using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Data at rest is erased soon after it is used, and while it is at rest it is encrypted using a separate key that was exchanged over SSL. Every remote request is audited. If someone happens to be sitting at the computer when a remote request comes in, he or she can start a chat with the person making the remote request.
The combined features employed in the personal cloud paradigm are an enabling technology for small businesses. The ability to broadcast commands to groups of computers lends itself to supporting administrative functions for businesses with fleets of computers. Simultaneous access is also possible for unaffiliated computers.
The used automotive parts locator service, Part Chatter (http://www.partchatter.com – operated by Cognitier), enables visitor requests to be distributed to the computers of subscribed dealers, where the requests are locally categorized and prioritized. Dealers then have the option to initiate a chat session with the visitor while that visitor is actively searching for the part to purchase.
About Cognitier, Inc.
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