April 19, 2016 – Finding the right wireless solutions for your business means keeping abreast of the innovations as they come down the pipeline. The speed of technology means that there are new wireless options for virtually every purpose being developed every day. The following are 5 innovations that are in their nascent stages, or even just visible over the horizon that have piqued our interest:
Mobile Virtual Networks
Back in March, Google announced their plan to become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). That means they would be able to route data as well as voice calls through both cellular and WiFi networks. The goal for Google is to use the network for their branded Nexus phones but, of course, the implications of such a big player entering the space means that more opportunities for MVNOs will certainly be on the horizon. For users, these types of networks could mean better connectivity around the globe, even where cellular coverage is limited.
Just as mobile virtual networks rely less on cellular towers, peer-to-peer wireless options take cell towers out of the equation entirely. LTE Direct, as the technology is called, allows wireless devices to connect to one another directly from up to 500 meters away. The technology is deep into the development phase at Qualcomm and could potentially allow wireless users to discover things nearby with virtually no effort, their mobile phones letting them know about restaurants, events, and friends that are in the area through this peer-to-peer communication. LTE Direct also has the potential to offer more private communication options when communicating between wireless devices.
Sound as Data
Using sound to transmit data can’t really be described as an innovation at this point, since that was the idea behind the most ancient modems. However, this type of wireless transmission has made a big comeback and is successfully making the leap to wireless solutions, from Google Chromecast (which uses ultrasonic sounds to transmit data to televisions) to a mobile app called Clinkle that allows wireless users to transfer money to one another using a patented technology called Aerolink. A new use for older technologies can certainly be touted as innovation and probably something most people with an old-fashioned modem never conceived of.
In a move that is not only innovative but could be an ultimate convenience, with auto manufacturers Hyundai-Kia as well as Mercedes-Benz and General Motors hoping to implement wireless charging for electric cars. Small-scale wireless charging, such as cell phone charging mats, are not new but these automotive innovations are on a much larger scale. Current tests have the inductive chargers operating at as high as 85% efficiency, making electric cars that much more appealing.
Unused TV spectrum channels, specifically UHF, are so underutilized that wireless technology is being developed that can use these channels for fast, reliable wireless communication. Technology is currently in the works at Rice University that would help to create these super WiFi channels, which could be specifically useful in densely populated areas where other channels are jammed with wireless devices.
For consumers and businesses alike, continued innovation in wireless solutions means more opportunities to live lives that are better connected and continually more convenient.