Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pervasive Computing @ LeapFrog

Couple of Years before, I bought a LeapFrog learning pad in Canada for my son. I found the experience very impressive. The device enables a range of catridges to be loaded and learning different subjects with kids-specific themes. The catridges are sold separately and it works offline independently with no need to connect to computer to play those catridges.
Now back to 2008/2009, Same company is set for launching next-generation transformational services. The same LeapPad devices can be connected to internet. By connecting the leappad devices to your computer which in turn connected to the net, the device can directly talk to LeapPad Services hosted on the web. There is a host of services to be made available - like new games/learning modules, tracking kids' learning pace/activities, Sharing the learning with Teachers via Web. Now, thats what I call as a True Transformation towards SOA. A device that was once passive and selling only standalone products, comesup with a 'services' business model. The business model opens immense opportunties for LeapPad as well as for Parents and Children. It adds more interactivity and liveliness to the learning experience. Above all, it turns the device 'smarter' and 'connected'. And Look at the way things change where connectivity becomes Ubiquitous. But what would have been really nice is that - if the devices themselves could talk to the Web Services directly without needing for connecting to a computer. Maybe that will follow next...
Now, coming to the IT part, the way they have built the IT system that supports this service-oriented business model is also impressive. No Big-Bang System Integrators, No Complex Vendor Products, Open-Source style development, Geographically distributed teams, Empowered Team members, Specification-driven Development, Least-expensive, Open-Source software and Faster Time-to-Market. If you are seriously thinking about achieving a 'Faster' SOA, then you should not miss this story. This case study also disproves the fact that SOA is complex and time-consuming. There are many different ways one can venture into SOA and which class to follow purely depends solely on one's Organizational needs and culture.

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