Welcome!

Mobile IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Kevin Jackson, Jnan Dash, David H Deans

Related Topics: Mobile IoT

Mobile IoT: Article

What Is the 'Wired Advantage'?

Power is one thing...

It was quite a wireless Christmas in 2003, with wireless speakers; a wireless headset that's (apparently) all done with magnets; a wireless thermometer (so we can tell the temperature outside without leaving the house - very important here in the Highlands); and even a round flying thing that uses infrared for its remote control (yes, you do have to point the remote at it, which is half the fun). It seems that wireless communications are being added to just about everything, and as far as I can see it's all for the good.

Of course, with all these wireless devices talking to each other, there might be a concern about interference, but the range of devices and technologies available belay such concerns while demonstrating just how broad the radio spectrum is. New standards like Bluetooth 1.2, which we take an in-depth look at this issue, can extend the usability of the narrow 2.4GHz spectrum, but other technologies are coming along to fill the air with their own communications.

The latest headset I've been playing with is from Aura Communications and uses magnetic fields to connect wirelessly, offering an order of magnitude better audio quality and battery life than Bluetooth. While this first product using the technology isn't perfect, it's an example of the kind of innovation we can expect to see in the coming years. Now that wireless communications are part of our normal, day-to-day experiences, new developments are easier to sell and users know where the value lies.

While setting up my wireless speakers, which took all of 10 minutes, my wife was moved to ask why we use wires at all. The utility of the wireless solution is so impressive that wires seem more than redundant, but even in the WBT offices, wires are still everywhere, snaking through walls and (far too often) across rooms. So why are our offices more like a plate of spaghetti than ever? What is the "Wired Advantage"?

Power is the first thing; I recently heard of an office where every desk was fitted with 20 power sockets! Everything seems to need charging these days (all those wonderful mobile gadgets) and, of course, there's no chance of any compatibility in the chargers, so wires automatically cover every desk.

Induction charging would seem to be the solution - a mat on your desk contains a coil with significant power going through it, and everything left resting on the desk gets power from there. But when the manufacturers can't agree on a standard for wired supplies, it seems unlikely that they are going to work together to agree on an unwired solution. Not to mention, the coil in a wireless credit card might just pick up some of that same current next time you're perched on someone else's desk.

Cost is, of course, still the overriding factor in most wireless solutions. Even RFID, surely the cheapest wireless technology ever proposed, can get real expensive when you scale it up. In this issue we look at the impact of Wal-Mart mandating RFID use from its suppliers, and we'll see just how expensive it can be. While Wi-Fi hardware is getting a lot cheaper, it's still got a very long way to go before it can compete with the sub-hundred-dollar Ethernet cards on the market. Even when you add in the cost of cables and fitting, only the smallest installation is going to be cheaper without wires.

Finally there's the question of bandwidth; a cheap Ethernet card will happily shunt 100Mb/sec around cables, while an expensive Wi-Fi connection tops out at 54Mb/sec at best. My wireless speakers just don't have the quality of my wired ones, and soon it will be out with the drill again. My 3G phone offers me 385Kb/sec, assuming I'm in a major city, but with ADSL my copper wire connection can offer me 6Mb/sec (at least, it could if I didn't live in the middle of nowhere)!

Wireless has, so far, been mainly about enabling connectivity where none was possible before, creating new applications and ways of working that simply couldn't exist without constant communications. But as the costs come down, and new technologies open up new channels and more bandwidth, we'll start to see wireless as a way of making our lives easier, of enabling us to do the things we already do, but with less effort.

Next year, for Christmas, I'd like to be able to clear some of the wires off my desk, but now I'm off to drill some holes and lay some copper.

More Stories By Bill Ray

Bill Ray, former editor-in-chief (and continuing distinguished contributor to) Wireless Business & Technology magazine, has been developing wireless applications for over 20 ears on just about every platform available. Heavily involved in Java since its release, he developed some of the first cryptography applications for Java and was a founder of JCP Computer Services, a company later sold to Sun Microsystems. At Swisscom he was responsible for the first Java-capable DTV set-top box, and currently holds the position of head of Enabling Software at 02, a UK network operator.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Ilya Khasin 03/11/04 12:55:24 PM EST

Hi Bill,

Cool article. Granted, the two main "wired advantages" are still cost and performance. Businesses start to feel the "second degree" problems with wireless, though - reliability, manageability and security. Solutions to those start to emerge as well. For once, have a pick at www.cognio.com

Regards,

Ilya Khasin.

PS Please say "Hi!" to the Highlands - my favorite place on earth.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, will discuss the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information,
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
Now that the world has connected “things,” we need to build these devices as truly intelligent in order to create instantaneous and precise results. This means you have to do as much of the processing at the point of entry as you can: at the edge. The killer use cases for IoT are becoming manifest through AI engines on edge devices. An autonomous car has this dual edge/cloud analytics model, producing precise, real-time results. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Eng...
In the enterprise today, connected IoT devices are everywhere – both inside and outside corporate environments. The need to identify, manage, control and secure a quickly growing web of connections and outside devices is making the already challenging task of security even more important, and onerous. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Rich Boyer, CISO and Chief Architect for Security at NTT i3, will discuss new ways of thinking and the approaches needed to address the emerging challenges of securit...
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, will posit that disruption is inevitable for c...
There are 66 million network cameras capturing terabytes of data. How did factories in Japan improve physical security at the facilities and improve employee productivity? Edge Computing reduces possible kilobytes of data collected per second to only a few kilobytes of data transmitted to the public cloud every day. Data is aggregated and analyzed close to sensors so only intelligent results need to be transmitted to the cloud. Non-essential data is recycled to optimize storage.
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, will present an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He will expound on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and...
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.