6 Unusual But Cool Uses For the Cloud

Unusual uses for the cloud

We all know the cloud can benefit organizations through cost savings, security, and IT support; but there are several unique ways that cloud computing technology is being utilized to better our everyday lives. Take a look at these innovative uses for the cloud. And keep in mind, this list is just the tip of the iceberg!

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Making Restaurant Reservations

Remember when the vibrating pager at a restaurant was at the height of technology? No more! Companies like Open Table have changed the game, allowing diners to view restaurants near them, make reservations, and gauge how long wait times might be. Today, OpenTable boasts finding restaurants for more than 26 million diners each month (and bringing in $69 billion to their partner restaurants).

Download: 7 Key Business Drivers for Assessing Your IT Environment

Parking Your Car

Parking can be a real pain, but now, there’s an app for that. ParknCloud is a parking app and program for both individuals and municipalities. Using cloud technology, it allows drivers to see where available parking spots are, saving them the time and hassle of circling city blocks endlessly. It also allows cities to remove parking meters, because drivers can pay for their spot via the app (no more looking for loose change!). It also notifies users when their “virtual meter” is near expiration, so with a tap they can add more money, and avoid a parking ticket.

Heating the Home or Office

Space heaters are so passé. But what’s the alternative? Your computer, of course! Surely you’ve heard your computer humming, and felt it giving off heat, even when not processing tasks. Qarnot has found a way to harness that heat, turning what was simply CO2 emission waste into a viable means of heating offices and homes. The QH-1 is the first computing heater embedding microprocessors as a heat source and is connected online. It also allows users to monitor their space with a single app, modifying each QH-1 temperature as needed, from anywhere.

Feeding Fido From Afar

We’re pretty attached to our pets—and good pet parents hate messing up the feeding schedule when they’re away. Now, smart pet feeders allow you to schedule and manage feeding times, portion sizes, and food supply—or just deliver a treat. Additionally, the devices are easy to use. Simply plug them in, sync them to your smartphone or other device, and you’re in control. Many come with a camera, so you can visually check on your pet and say hello to ease their (or your) separation anxiety. Now, if they could only come up with a smart pet potty.

Being Heard

Not everyone wants to start a blog—but sometimes we have a story we want to share, or just have something we want to get off our chest. QuietWrite offers just that, giving users a place to write anything they want, including pictures, and publishing it online. Who knows, a novice writer’s work could turn them into the next big thing if a publishing house is keeping an eye out for up-and-comers!

Seeing the City Sights

A winner of the City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge, Chicago embraced a new cloud source called OpenGrid, which puts city information in the palm of your hand. The app provides users a wealth of city information, including historical data sources, neighborhood hotspots, recent city searches through 311, and more. What’s very special is that the site allows people to contribute to the code itself, and the design makes it easy for businesses to get what they need from it.

We are still at the beginning of cloud technology, and as it evolves, there will certainly be more innovative uses for it. Have you heard of a unique cloud-based technology we didn’t cover? Share it with us in the comments below, or if you have questions about cloud technology and migration, contact the experts at DSM.

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