It seems like forever ago that Pointcast introduced us to the first incarnation of so-called “push” technology. But aside from stock prices through online brokerages, the real-time streaming of content didn’t really take off until very recently. Even today, many people still refresh their browser to see if they’ve been outbid on eBay and reload the sports scores on their smartphone to see if their team held on for the win.
There are three key factors driving recent, rapid increases in the production and consumption of real-time data:
- Changes in technology – For years, developers have worked around the limitations of browsers and HTML by building thick clients or using COMET to clumsily force data changes into browser applications. The emerging HTML5 standard (with the backing of Google, Apple and Microsoft) will make real-time data a first class citizen over the internet. At the same time, turnkey infrastructure that integrates back end systems all the way through to browsers and mobile devices is simplifying development and deployment of these applications.