Cards as the New Computing Platform

March 31st, 2014

by Mattias

Over at, Fred Wilson is writing about the search for the next platform, spurred by the recent Oculus acquisition. Now, we can debate what a platform is – is it a software framework like facebook, instagram and twitter, or is it more the underlying computing platform, like desktop, cloud and mobile, or is it the combination of the two like Oculus? From here on, I will focus on the computing platform as such.

Looking back at the evolution of computing architectures, we can see that it has gone towards including smaller and smaller devices into the general architecture, with accompanying evolution of the interaction models. We started with mainframe computers, then came the desktop, the mobile, and now we are starting to experiment with including wearables into the generic computing architecture. Maybe the Oculus VR tools will be the next expansion, but I think that there is another set of devices that will be included in the generic computing architecture before the VR paradigm takes over: cards. Cards also rhyme much better with the general trend of integrating smaller and smaller devices into the generic computing architecture.

With cards I mean the cards that we already today use as dumb objects when we pay for things in the supermarket, travel with the metro, or open the door to our office. But these cards can be much more intelligent than this, connected to the internet through the mobile phone of their owner, utilising the processor that actually sits on them and making it possible to dynamically install applications on them. We see steps in this direction in Coin and with the Fidesmo Card. It is a natural evolution, and something that can easily add a billion to the number of connected devices.

Disclaimer: If it is not clear from the rest of the website – Fidesmo is enabling the card based extension to the generic computing architecture. This might gives us a biased view on things…