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January 2019

Dear ComputingEdge reader:

Emerging Blockchain Applications

In the public consciousness, blockchain is almost synonymous with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. But many other exciting uses for this emerging technology are in the works. Blockchain utilizes cryptography to log records securely and reliably, leading to potential applications in important areas such as banking, healthcare, and voting. The January 2019 issue of ComputingEdge discusses two new blockchain applications.

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Following Just One Field
If you are going to follow only one field of computing, good colleagues, you would do well to choose virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). They touch on almost every aspect of computer science and computer engineering, including graphics, high-performance computing, security, privacy, data science, and sensor nets. If you look at the proceedings of the Symposium on Virtual and Augmented Reality (SVR)—the major conference in the field—you’ll find papers that could have easily been presented at the SC supercomputing conference, Human-Computer Interaction International Conference, or ACM SIGGRAPH graphics conference. The proceedings of SVR are in the digital library. They’ll teach you something about the state of computer science.
This month, ComputingEdge gives you a quick snapshot of VR and AR in three articles. Jack Tan and his coauthors describe the technology that has reduced the prices of 360-degree VR cameras. Xiuquan Qiao and his coauthors show how mobile edge computing can address some of the computational needs for AR. Finally, Charles Day discusses VR tourism and how it could teach us lessons that we no longer learn from travel in our globalized age.
ComputingEdge follows a few other technologies this month, and you should make a little room for them, as well. This issue has two articles on the history-preserving property of blockchain. Hilarie Orman explains how this property can be used for identity management, and Qinghua Lu and Xiwei Xu demonstrate how it secures industrial supply chains.
Three more articles complete ComputingEdge for this month. Richard Chow talks about privacy in the most public of circumstances: when an individual is surrounded by Internet of Things sensors that are difficult to detect. He quotes Jason Hong’s challenge that anyone should be able to identify any sensor and dataflow within 30 seconds of encountering it (a tough goal, to be sure). Meanwhile, Roy Want and his coauthors discuss the impacts of improved location-finding technologies. Finally, Nir Kshetri gives us a preview of the new 5G telecommunications standard. Over the next few years, 5G will do more to change the mobile computing environment than any new phone, tablet, or other device. Kshetri argues that it will change e-commerce and may even promote those two key technologies covered in this issue of ComputingEdge: AR and VR.
—David Alan Grier for ComputingEdge

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