Monday, November 26, 2007

Wireless Everywhere - Wireless Grids

A startup in Syracuse, NY called Wireless Grids is close to a trial on a very interesting project on the campus of Syracuse University. Here's a description of the project from Wireless Grid's website:

The project is researching issues associated with nomadic ad-hoc resource sharing, which is a effort to bind together developments in Grid, P2P Computing and Webservices along with ad-hoc and wireless networking. The ultimate vision of the grid is that of an adaptive network offering secure, inexpensive, and coordinated real-time access to dynamic, heterogeneous resources, potentially trversing geographc, politica and cultural boundaries but still able to maintain the desirable characteristics of a simple distributed system such as stability, transparency, scalability and flexibility.

Academic partners include Boston University, ETH Zurich, MIT, Northeastern University, Syracuse University and Tufts University. Business partners include Nokia, Cisco Systems, Fractal Antennas and Novell. The project has also been partially funded by the National Science Foundation.

The project concept is extremely appealing - here's a couple of quotes from an excellent article in the November 19 issue of Business Week:

The concept is that everyone should easily be able to access all of their own content, whether it is stored on a phone, a computer, or a personal video recorder. And users should be able to swap content among devices regardless of where those devices are located in the world. Even more radically, Wireless Grids says users should have the power to specify individuals with whom they'd like to share—and to decide who gets access to what. For this purpose, Wireless Grids says it has built in security measures that are all but hacker-proof.

Any device that can link to the Internet can download Wireless Grids' software, which will work across all types of networks or computer operating systems. Once the software is loaded, a menu pops up asking which things you'd like to share. The initial version allows users to share software files as well as computers, speakers, printers, cameras, and screens. Users click on an icon and select which files and devices they want to make available. The other parties can be located anywhere, as long as their devices also have the software loaded.

Cell phones, laptops, TiVo, televisions....... any device that can connect to the Internet will be able to share content with other attached devices after Wireless Grids software is installed on the device. The trial is scheduled to be launched in January with 40 students in a dorm on the Syracuse campus. It's pretty much a given these students will be posting on places like YouTube - it will be fun to watch the progress and see the kinds of creative applications these students come up with for this technology.

I can imagine all kinds of applications - sharing video with a student in one of my classes cell phone to cell phone, my daughter's cell phone communicating with my TV while I'm watching a football game telling me where she is with the car, my kids looking in real-time at video on a big screen TV in Massachusetts that I'm shooting using a WiFi video camera in California .....

Security and privacy certainly will be a challenge..... watch the Wireless Grids Project Blog and Wiki linked from the project website for trial progress and updates.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Wireless technology would change all over the world.