Home » Uncategorized » Raft of new wireless technologies could lead to airwave gridlock
Image_64150_tmimage.jpg

Raft of new wireless technologies could lead to airwave gridlock

By Jared Sandberg

For months it was driving Howard McCollister nuts. The 50-year-old surgeon from Deerwood, Minn., had equipped his kids’ Apple laptops with wireless antennas called the AirPort. The doodads allow the McCollister siblings to connect to the Internet without a direct phone line.

Instead, they receive their Internet link through the air, via a small radio transmitter connected to a phone. The setup ended arguments “about one or the other hogging the phone line,” says Dr. McCollister.

But the wireless link kept blinking out, and Dr. McCollister couldn’t figure out what was wrong. He upgraded the software and pored over online discussion groups without any luck.

Finally, a friend who is an Apple dealer asked if he had a cordless phone that transmits its calls at 2.4 gigahertz and Dr. McCollister had his breakthrough. Two months earlier, he had bought two of the phones for his kids. It turned out they were creating interference that scotched the computer connection. Confirming the problem, he found a document on Apple’s Web site that lists things ranging from 2.4 gigahertz phones to microwave ovens as potential sources of interference.

Brace for mid-air collisions. The high-tech industry is hyping a raft of new technologies that use the airwaves to link personal computers, Palm hand-held devices and other gadgets to the Internet and corporate networks, as well as to each other. Executives say such wireless connections herald a new era of anywhere, anytime computing.

But these technologies communicate in the increasingly crowded 2.4 gigahertz band of the radio spectrum, potentially clogging the airwaves like planes over LaGuardia. Developed to liberate people from their desks and the linguine knots of cables emerging from their computers, some wireless technologies could create airborne entanglements that increase the complexity of computing, instead of reducing it.

“New technology is always more complex at first,” says Forrester Research analyst Galen Schreck. “We promise something that is going to be magical, something that will configure itself, but that doesn’t emerge until later into the game.”

About Fabrizio Pilato

Check Also

wii-oculus-rift-hoverboard

Try Oculus Rift And Wii To Roam Around On The Back To The Future Hoverboard

Check out how you can fly in virtual space by using an Oculus Rift and a Wii Balance Board.

131129-amz

Amazon Appstore for Android Holiday Deals, Including Free Apps

There are tons of deals from the Amazon Appstore that will be offered starting now and throughout the holiday shopping season. They say that they will have "hundreds of titles that are eitehr free... or available between 50-90% off" the regular price.

131129-google

Black Friday: Google Play Store Apps, Games and Content on Sale All Weekend

Case in point, if you head over to the Google Play Store right now, you'll find that Google is celebrating all Cyber Weekend with discounts on all sorts of content. This includes many popular apps and games

131129-gtab

Black Friday Deal: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1-Inch for $100 Off

Did you manage to score any epic Black Friday deals this morning? Are you still ...

131128-diy

Arduino Co-Creator Releases Plans for $200 DIY Mobile Phone

Mellis was one of the people who came up with the now hugely popular Arduino platform and now he has come up with plans for people to build their own cell phone for about $200 in parts.

131128-apple

No Discounts for Apple Black Friday, Just Free Gift Cards

If you were hoping to save yourself some cash as you brave the Black Friday shopping crowds, you'll want to go somewhere other than the official Apple Stores.