Consumers have been driving demand for 4K / Ultra High Definition (UHD) since 2014. Now both established and new brands are entering the market, making 4K / UHD content much easier to create and access. Last week’s Mobile World Congress continued the trend, with a number of related announcements:
- Samsung and Verizon announced the ability to transmit 4K content to a moving vehicle
- Huawei announced GigaRadio featuring HD voice, 2K/4K HD video and virtual reality experiences
- Qualcomm discussed the 6th generation of the Snapdragon X16 smartphone modem
- AstroFlix announced the first 4K Zodiac Channel for horoscope delivery in 4K
However, with improved content quality comes additional local storage challenges for users who create and consume 4K / UHD files. The files are gigantic. Look at the difference versus HD on the iPhone 6s at 60 frames per second:
So if you have a 16GB phone you better offload that content fast, or find a cloud solution – and Apple will offer that to you. Live photos generate 4 shots per picture. So at about 13MB per photo, you can see how local storage can be impacted in a matter of months. This makes cloud an obvious and relevant option to prevent exhausting local storage. In fact, we think cloud will be even more disruptive in the wake of UHD – but why should Apple be the only one that offers it?
UHD goes beyond phones, to set top boxes and storage devices. As the availability of UHD technology infiltrates film production, users can experience better color, frame rates and the authenticity of film that was captured in UHD. Those vivid, additional pixels take up a lot of storage. How much local storage will a set top box need? 500 GBs suddenly sounds pretty small if you regularly use your DVR to record movies and TV shows to watch at another time.
While content is currently limited, the higher quality files will inevitably become the standard. This will squeeze local device storage even more. The cloud is the only answer. And Bitcasa is seeing this realization across the entire device economy.