By Iain Collings
My nine year old son has lived his whole life in a house that doesn’t have a cable connected to a telephone – not to mention to a laptop or mouse. This is largely because wireless technology has given us the freedom to live life wirelessly using devices like laptops, TVs and smartphones. And its popularity just keeps on growing. It’s estimated that there will be 5.8 million WiFi hotspots across the globe by 2015 and 800 million WiFi–enabled households by 2016.
All you need in life is food, shelter and a good WiFi connection. Image: Duncan Hull
Soon, wireless devices will be everywhere in our daily lives, measuring and optimising things that we never thought were possible – and we won’t even know it. Think high definition 3D video that streams seamlessly to tiny wireless devices without having to worry out about signal strength, coverage or network congestion. Whether you want to park your car without driving, feed your dog when you’re on holidays or program your fridge to automatically add milk to your shopping list when you’re running low – all of this is possible with wireless technology.
Today, we’re taking wireless technology out of our labs and working with a range of partners to solve important purposes. Our wireless ad-hoc system for positioning (WASP) technology is helping improve the performance of athletes and ensuring the safety of miners, firefighters and emergency service personnel. We’re also helping farmers monitor soil fertility, crop growth and animal health through integrating wireless networks with centralized cloud computing.
In twenty years’ time who knows how far we could get. Maybe all cars on the road will be tracked, integrated and controlled over wireless links. Just think – no more traffic jams or crashes. I bet Rhonda and Ketut will be happy with that.
With the increasing popularity and growth of wireless technology for business, residential and mobile users, there’s a big demand for new research and development in the future. And we’re chuffed to be at the forefront of these exciting changes.
Check out our infographic showing how we’re using Wi-Fi technologies today (click image for full-size):
Learn more about our work in wireless networks.
Iain Collings presented a keynote on the future of wireless research at The Australasian Telecommunications Networks and Applications Conference on Wednesday 20th November.
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