Expert Speak

Kiss Cables Goodbye!


The thought of moving to a large office space or adding new workforce usually means laying of a few extra miles of cable wires to connect new terminals to the existing network in the organization. A wireless network can remove this hiccup.
p____p A wireless local area network (LAN) is a flexible data communications system implemented as an extension to, or as an alternative for, a wired LAN. Using radio frequency (RF) technology, wireless LANs transmit and receive data over the air, minimizing the need for wired connections. Thus, wireless LANs combine data connectivity with user mobility.
p____p Most wireless equipment works on an international standard called 802.11, but you�re likely come across two different flavors of it. The first is Wi-Fi, offering possible data speeds from 11 to 54 megabits per second, but it�s expensive. The second is HomeRF. Data speeds are slower, currently about 10 megabits per second; it has a shorter range, but it�s cheaper and manufacturers say it copes better with interference.
p____p AirPort is Apple�s brand name for its Wi-Fi technology – one little hub can support up to 50 Macs, or PCs. At the moment, consumer wireless network data speeds are slower than cable, but even so it�s growing in popularity. Wireless LANs have gained strong popularity in a number of vertical markets, including the health-care, retail, manufacturing, warehousing, and academia. These industries have profited from the productivity gains of using hand-held terminals and notebook computers to transmit real-time information to centralized hosts for processing. Today wireless LANs are becoming more widely recognized as a general-purpose connectivity alternative for a broad range of business customers.

Pros and Cons of Wireless

Wireless connectivity for corporate information access offers a variety of potential business benefits driven by user convenience and increased ability to transact business. There are organizations out there that have aggressively adopted wireless computing technology and benefits range from increased sales, decreased costs, customer service, and a competitive advantage.
p____p But keep in mind that supporting wireless connectivity also has the potential to increase certain challenges. These challenges are central to mobile computing solutions in general – regardless of the connectivity option chose. However, the relative immaturity of public wireless networks does tend to exacerbate them.

Cell Phone + Internet + Palm Device = Smartphone

Smartphones based on Windows CE, Palm OS, and EPOC is an emerging category that is still relatively immature but holds great promise. The new Microsoft “Stinger” standard for smartphones should kick-start this category. The emergence of smartphones has sparked a wide-ranging debate on the future of mobile devices – with two camps emerging. One believes in device convergence and sees smartphones as harbingers of the death of pure phones and pure PDAs. The other sees smartphones as proof of the ongoing proliferation of new device types and the trend towards users having more and more devices.
p____p So exactly how will we be using PDA�s to communicate? Well, Bluetooth attachments are one way, and will make it easier to connect through our mobile phones. But it�s devices like PDA-cum-phones which are taking the biggeststrides . And its not just the PDA manufacturers at it, newcomers too are jumping on the wireless bandwagon, with good reason.
p____p The near future? We will soon be wearing computers. Forget about viewing graphics on a PDA screen. Headmount display one-inch in size full color, 640 x 480 SVGA viewing screen sitting below your eye and providing a viewing area resolution similar to that of a desktop monitor from two feet away with support for wireless LANs, touch optical mouse pointing device for Internet and Windows navigation compatible with wearable keyboards and other pointing and input devices, could well be the future.

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