Is This The Beginning of Wi-Fi Everywhere?
My interest in this article is… is this the beginning of what we all want; which is really ubiquitous Wi-Fi. That is, I want to be able to do is use a Wi-Fi type device no matter where I am… it is just a matter of time! Whether on your own home network, or not! I realize this will require new security protocols and even greater awareness of what you’re doing with your handheld device, or notepad, or netbook computer. However, I think this is where we are heading, and once we get reliable ubiquitous Wi-Fi everywhere, we can then imagine the kinds of devices we will soon have access to: handheld streamed video delivered to us anytime, anywhere; it will truly be a brave new world! By the way, DARPA helped invent the Internet, so don’t count them out!
“The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is funding a proof-of-concept study at Virginia Tech to create a distributed computing solution that operates in a totally wireless environment and includes multiple computers and handheld devices.
DARPA’s interest in distributed computing stretches back more than 40 years, to the beginnings of what we now know as the Internet, when computer resources were scarce.
‘Traditional wired distributed computing has been around for many years, allowing computationally intensive tasks to be performed efficiently via many, physically connected computers,’ said Jeffrey Reed, principal investigator for the project and Electrical Engineering professor at Virginia Tech. ‘Our effort will focus on developing distributed computer systems that work in a cable-free environment, which will bring a new level of flexibility to users who need to work in rapidly changing, often challenging, mobile environments.’
Presently, computational power isn’t scarce, but wireless integrity is, so the first part of this project will focus on demonstrating the feasibility of wireless distributed computing on DARPA’s Wireless Network after Next (WNaN.) WNaN is a communications system that senses what parts of the wireless spectrum are free (Dynamic Spectrum Access), and automatically optimizes the network topology based upon the available resources. The goal is to create robust mesh networks using mostly affordable, commercially available hardware so soldiers can be more connected but at no great monetary expense.”