Wireless & Internet Tech

Wifi Design on the Cloud

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Xirrus releases a free cloud-based design tool for the creation of wireless networks-- Xirrus Wifi Designer-Cloud, a self-service application for the placement access points and arrays. 

Xirrus designerThe Wifi Designer-Cloud models the wireless coverage of Xirrus APs and arrays together with the characteristics of the deployment location (including wall construction materials) to create an optimised deisgn. 

"Rather than conducting an active survey using physical equipment and manpower-– which can be expensive and cumbersome-– network planners can simply use our cloud based tool to design and dimension a Xirrus wireless network," Xirrus says. "Wifi Designer-Cloud provides time and cost savings in determining project scope and the bill of materials (BOM)."

As a Software-as-a-Service (Saas) offering Xirris Wifi Designer-Cloud requires no installation or maintenance, and is available now via the link below. 

Go Xirrus Wifi Designer-Cloud

Wifi's New Superpower... X-Ray Vision?

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Researchers at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory use the power of wifi to gain one of Superman's many powers-- using the wifi-based "Wi-Vi" to detect movement through walls.

Wifi xrayIn concept Wi-Vi is similar to radar and sonar imaging, only using low-power wifi signals to track movement in closed rooms or behind a wall. The system requires 2 transmit antennas and 1 receiver, with one transmitter sending out a signal that is the inverse of the signal from the other.

Due to nulling effect, the signals from the two antennas cancel each other out when "bouncing" back after hitting static objects-- but not when reflecting off moving objects. The receiver tracks the time it takes for signals to reflect back from a moving object (such as a person in a room) and calculates where it is at any time, producing a "sort of" X-ray effect.

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Wifi Alliance Starts 802.11ac Certification

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The Wifi Alliance starts certification of 802.11ac products with the Wifi Certified 11ac program-- with hopes of bringing networking products with higher data rates, greater capacity and reduced latency to market in the near future. 

wifi certified802.11ac wifi operates on the 5GHz band. Most wifi certified products are also dual-band (operating on either 2.4 or 5GHz bands), providing networks with double capacity as the 5GHz band finds use for high-performance applications and 2.4GHz for basic needs. 

ABI Research forecasts 2014 dual-band wifi chipset shipments will reach 1.5 billion units. 

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Hppy Bday SMS!

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The Short Message Service (SMS) celebrates its 20th birthday-- on 3 December 1992 "Merry Christmas" was sent from a PC to a mobile device over the Vodafone UK network.

Makkonen SMSThe idea behind SMS has an even older origin. Back in 1982 the "father of SMS," former Finnish civil servant Matti Makkonen, revealed his idea for a mobile phone messaging service over pizza at a telecoms conference.

Makkonen dislikes the title (since others put the work behind the technology), but allowed for a rare interview on the topic with the BBC-- one done, more than aptly, via SMS.

The interview reveals Makkonen's preference for touchscreens ("Slow enough to think and sometimes even edit what I write"), a passion for the Finnish language (and its 160 characters) and his belief SMS is here to stay, even if in free instant messaging form.

He also insists the actual launch of SMS was on 1994 with the launch of the Nokia 2010, the first mobile phone allowing for easy message typing.

Go Texting SMS Pioneer Matti Makkonen 20 Years On (BBC)

ABI: 60GHz to Hit Mass Market

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After years as a niche technology, 60GHz technology is set to become a mass market solution ABI Research reports-- with annual enabled device shipments to exceed 1 billion units by 2017.

wigigDriving such growth is the linking of the WiGig and Wifi Alliances and the forthcoming ratification of the 802.11ad standard, both advancements encouraging wifi IC vendors to add 11ad to future tri-band solutions (as in 11n/11ac/11ad).

Many describe 802.11ad as the next step for wifi, after 11ac.

Vendor partnerships are also bearing fruit-- the Wilocity-Qualcomm Atheros team up paved the way to more WiGig/802.11ad devices, such as the first ultrabook from Dell carrying the technology.

ABI expects mobile devices to be the next market embracing the technology, primarily for media streaming between TVs. Growing 11ad adoption from smartphones will give rise to further adoption from connected home equipment, driving the market from external solutions (such as dongles) to integrated solutions.

"We expect a significant amount of consolidation in the market over the next 18 months as the 11ad market starts to take off,” ABI adds. “In some instances, smaller 60GHz technology focused companies will be swallowed up by the dominant wireless connectivity suppliers, others will be driven out of the market or at least into the margins as 11ad becomes an established technology, but without a push from the big guys the market will fail to gain traction.”

Go 60GHz Technology, 11ad Driving Market Growth (ABI Research)