Not yet, but I think these folks are on to something big…
The mechanism would be different, but I would wager that Google is quietly working on technology that would give the same experience through different technical means.
Here’s how I would like to see this work. I want to carry a token, be it a Smartcard or SecureId, or something of the like… Anywhere I go, I want to be able to sit down at a PC appliance, and my workspace comes to life. Documents, web windows, email, messenger, all come to life.
Maybe I could even have a couple of tokens. One for my work profile, another for consulting work, another for personal stuff. Each one would open up a workspace on the appliance I’m sitting at.
For this to take off, I see a few key features that must be met:
– It has to be fast. I’d use the time it takes a PC to hibernate/un-hibernate as the max. If you could bring it on-par with suspend-resume times, you’d be there.
– It has to be ubiquitous. Really… I have to know that wherever I might have a whim to hook up, I’ll be able to.
– It has to be secure. I don’t want some teenage hacker to hop on the appliance after me and be able to find my files.
– Software licensing must fit the model. I wouldn’t mind having all of my applications tied to a SecureID, but there’s a lot of resistance to this type of thing.
Now that I think about it, this idea meshes pretty well with recent assertions by Bill Gates and Jonathan Schwartz of SUN that hardware will be free in the future.
This could be the “Next Big Thing”, or maybe even the “Killer App”…