When I was born the future was something remote. Nowadays it is just around the corner or even closer. It's amazing!
Posted: 22 September 2011 at 19:12

Doug Vining Find a tree and make that call

Many of us struggle with wireless signals. I happen to live in a wireless shadow, where signal strength from all three major mobile operators is adequate, but barely good enough for decent 3G broadband, even though there is full strength on all carriers just over the hill, two kilometres away.

It's pretty frustrating. Some of my Twitter friends complain about similar issues in the heart of the busiest city in Africa, while on a road trip you can forget about your iPad until you get to a major town. On the other hand, I've received text SMS in the most remote and unlikely places, including the wilds of Mana Pools, on the banks of the great Zambezi river, the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In these situations, it's often not the lack of spectrum that is the problem - rather the lack of clear reception, and the need to generate a strong enough signal from your mobile device or 3G modem to reach the nearest tower. Imagine if you could easily create a powerful antenna, without the massive inconvenience of launching a helium balloon trailing a length of wire.

How about spraying a nearby tree or lamp post, and hey presto - full signal? What a wonderful idea!
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Find a tree and make that call") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here: http://www.futureworld.org/PublicZone/FuturesForum/BlogDetails.aspx?PostID=1e30437e-5713-4121-ad7d-91896dea5656
Posted: 27 February 2012 at 14:48

Doug Vining Optical information in a flash

It's one thing to use light pulses as a carrier of digital information - that's the basis for fibre-optics broadband. It's even been proposed for wireless data by means of modulating LEDs. This MindBullet refers to that technology, which might be termed LiFi.

But humans are used to absorbing masses of information by sight. And screens output data all around us. What if a smartphone's camera can be programmed to read that data, beyond just recognizing text, but scanning the data sent to the screen pixels and correctly interpreting it? That sounds like a whole new machine to machine communication paradigm to me. Wireless, local and without any interference. Also possibly covert, but easily prevented.

That's exactly the type of thing that Travis Rich is proposing at SxSW with NewsFlash. This TechCentral report has the details.
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Optical information in a flash") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here: http://www.futureworld.org/PublicZone/FuturesForum/BlogDetails.aspx?PostID=171c13fb-38e5-48be-8d94-4a78208d501b
Posted: 15 March 2012 at 12:28

Wolfgang Grulke RE: Optical information in a flash

That's exactly what the Harald Haas video suggests - using the smart phone camera to read the signals/broadband stream from LED lights.
Posted: 15 March 2012 at 12:32

Doug Vining Optical information in a flash

Ah, but Travis Rich suggests the camera can read the data from a screen - any screen - not only a pre-programmed stream of LED pulses!
Posted: 15 March 2012 at 12:37

Wolfgang Grulke Optical information in a flash

But that's hardly the broadband that Haas suggests!?
Posted: 15 March 2012 at 12:51

Doug Vining Optical information in a flash

Exactly. Haas is suggesting broadcasts like HD video streaming, while Rich is suggesting app-driven peer to peer communications. Even more innovative in my opinion.
Posted: 15 March 2012 at 15:24

Wolfgang Grulke Optical information in a flash

Innovative perhaps - but in a quite small way (in my view) - but it does not address the basic constraint with mobile communications - completely finite spectrum. That's the basic limit that Haas's approach addresses.
Posted: 15 March 2012 at 19:25

Doug Vining Breakthrough wireless disruption

Steve Perlman of Artemis Networks is going beyond the limits of the wireless spectrum - but he's sticking to radio to do it. Rather than turning to LEDs to distribute high speed broadband to mobile devices, he has created a unique software-defined network that uses the interference of overlapping signals to provide a 'personal cell' for every device, no matter how many are active in the coverage area.

It's a big problem for 4G LTE devices in congested cities. The high number of users on the same base station quickly degrades the service until it becomes "unusable". The solution of more, smaller cells is expensive, complex and doesn't address the basic problem of people competing for the same spectrum slice.

Artemis uses feedback from the device to recode the signals so that only you only receive yours - clearly and with no loss of speed. And it works for everyone in the signal area in the same way. With lots of small transmitters creating overlapping signals, it's simple to provide quality coverage for lots of users at low cost. It works with existing LTE devices, and will work even better for devices built specifically for Artemis pCell.

This is disruptive technology at its finest. Up till now, spectrum was a scarce ...
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Breakthrough wireless disruption") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here: http://www.futureworld.org/PublicZone/FuturesForum/BlogDetails.aspx?PostID=c78a8092-a03b-48e7-9e69-f50ce6b0b0e0
Posted: 3 March 2014 at 16:29

Doug Vining Breakthrough wireless disruption

Almost 18 months after we shared this 'breakthrough' we're finally going to see if it works in the real world. Could this be the Black Swan that makes 5G and WiFi obsolete, and true wireless broadband a cheap commodity?

Posted: 3 November 2015 at 11:47
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