Last update: May 2021

4 mins to read - 2019/07/26

What Is Edge Computing and How Can It Benefit Push Notifications?

Edge computing is something of a buzzword in the world of tech and IoT. It sounds very impressive, but it’s important to understand how exactly it functions, how it affects our digital lives, and how it differs from cloud computing. What makes it so desirable as our smart, connected devices get smarter and more connected? What does it mean when edge computing comes to CRM and mobile engagement?

Download our Reliability in Push Notifications Whitepaper to learn more about how OpenBack’s unique platform provides guaranteed deliverability:

Edge Computing vs. Cloud Computing

First of all, cloud computing is so familiar to the modern device owner that it hardly seems worth defining at all. Cloud computing is when we use our computers to access centralized services – think Gmail, Dropbox, etc. – or when we use devices, such as Amazon Echo, that are powered by cloud servers. So what does that make edge computing?

Succinctly put by Paul Miller for The Verge:

“Edge computing is computing that’s done at or near the source of the data, instead of relying on the cloud at one of a dozen data centers to do all the work.”

Essentially, it’s bringing computation to your individual device – or as close as possible, to your router or ISP address – so that the device becomes the center of that particular system.

Low Latency

In any scenario where something, in this case information has to go through a third party, there’s going to be a time lag. Edge computing takes the middleman (the cloud server) out of the equation by moving all computing processes to the device, or thereabouts.

This means there are less stops data has to make before it reaches its final destination. Computation occurs on the device itself, rather than having a request for information sent from the device to a cloud server, the server processing that request, and then bouncing back the necessary data.

This direct routing of data is crucial in a digital world where immediate results and real-time information can make or break a company. Edge computing means less latency, which makes for a better customer experience and a more efficient business.

Customer Experience

Any good brand knows that customer experience is key, and most of us are accustomed to the ease and convenience that comes from digitizing our daily activities. The problem comes because we also perform those activities in the physical world – think shopping, booking flights, or updating your schedule – and the ease and personalization of the digital world doesn’t translate well offline.

Edge computing can bring the immediacy of digital activities to your mobile device, providing a conduit to interact seamlessly with your physical environment. Geolocation and other data metrics can be used to assess when a user has walked into a business, say a grocery store. Using device-side data, the device can then direct them towards products on sale that the user has a history of purchasing, and can offer them a discount code to sweeten the deal.


Bandwidth is a finite resource, and implementing edge computing trims away a lot of the need for redundant data to be sent to cloud servers. For example, take security cameras. Rather than send hours of recorded video to the cloud server, only to have empty footage deleted to clear up space, edge computing would see empty footage deleted by the camera itself. 

Then only the footage showing movement, which might need to be accessed in the future, would be sent to the cloud for storage. This would both save on bandwidth as well as significantly lower the likelihood of the server overloading. 

Make Your Business More Agile With OpenBack

Edge computing’s low latency and bandwidth usage, combined with real-time analytics functions, gives your business tools to adapt and proactively respond to changing market environments. In the digital economy, businesses need instantaneous turnaround time to react to new situations, and context-driven machine learning of edge computing will allow you to sift through key data points, pinpoint behavioral patterns on a user-by-user basis, and then leverage that data.

The use cases for edge computing are endless, particularly when it comes to digital advertising and marketing, which will be able to be optimized according to real-time scenarios in the physical world such as weather, traffic, local events, and more. Edge computing will also be key in uncovering new revenue sources in emerging technologies, such as robotics and self-driving vehicles.

Currently, OpenBack is the only push notification platform on the market that utilizes edge computing and machine learning to analyze device-side data metrics in real-time. Our wealth of unique features possible given our use of edge computing include:

  • 40+ contextual triggers to control the moment of delivery
  • Full metrics, including deliver/dismiss
  • Dynamic notifications, allowing the mobile app to update or delete notifications post-delivery
  • 100% reliability
  • Compliance with local data privacy laws (GDPR, HIPAA, COPPA) because user data doesn’t have to leave the device

With our innovative push architecture that augments cloud servers, as they are not needed at all at the time of delivery of messages, we offer the real-time agility and dynamic notifications capability that your business needs to stay on top of the game and ahead of the competition.

For a comprehensive list of OpenBack’s unique features, please visit our features page here.

Contact one of our experts to learn more about how edge computing makes OpenBack unique in the push notification market!

For a definitive compilation of push notification best practices download the OpenBack Mobile Marketing Playbook 2020 here:


  • How does OpenBack guarantee delivery? Does App use long polling the app backend?

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