For all intents and purposes, the Wi-Fi revolution started in the home, rather than in the office (some would say it started in the supply chain industries, but it was a pretty niche technology in terms of numbers). Propelled by a very rich Intel Centrino marketing budget, the avalanche of wireless-enabled laptops and available hotspots, propelled the much connected wireless lifestyle. According to the Yankee Group, Wi-Fi hot spots will grow to over 70,000 in 2007, a 2300% increase from 2002.As we move to the ratification of 802.11n, we are now beset by a rich variety of”pre-N” home Wireless LAN options. While it is unwise to select a pre-standard Access Point for use in the office -large scale, forkliftable incompatibility is a bad thing -there is lots of room for experimentation at home.There are 2 key elements to emerging technology worth looking at:- Faster air-link speed- Better performance through the use of Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO) antennas.While your home DSL or Cable Modem connection is not going to take much advantage of this kind of speed -think about it as a new 300 HP Mustang creeping along during rush hour — this second area, better performance, is particularly interesting, as beam steering/switching approaches turn traditional wireless negatives such as multi-path into more reliable, robust signal around your place. Streaming video from your set-top or home router to your experience devices (TV, music system, PC, gaming platform) does open up a world of possibilities.My prediction is the devices that come to your home this year and beyond will reset expectation for wireless and work, driving the next generation of business-class wireless to then make it scaleable, manageable, and of course, secure. Look to a 2008/2009 for this push into the Enterprise, just proving that history does repeat itself.The other key trend here is that the growing individualization of technology (some would call it consumerization) is upon us, reversing the traditional business-home technology migration curve that we saw in the computing industry. Or to borrow a little from former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Thomas P (TIP) O’Neill:”all technology is local.” At least now it is.
Photographs and memoriesChristmas cards you sent to meAll that I have are theseTo remember you- Jim Croce, Photographs and MemoriesWelcome to 2007 fellow bloggers. For many of us, holidays are a time of family get togethers, of remembrances of things past. Another year passes and we remember old friends and loved ones. Thanks to a tip from fellow Wi-Fi Blogger, Glen Fleishman http://wifinetnews.com/, I have just learned that Kodak, has released a Wi-Fi enabled picture frame, where you can stream pictures via that trusty 802.11 protocol from your computer to any where you want in the house or office. http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=10554&pq-locale=en_USNot only does this mean that you entire digital library is now fair game, I hope over time, your can connect some kind of RFID or identity system. Think of it: when my brother visits, all the frames in the house can automatically change to pictures of his (we agree) adorable kids.It is over 125 years ago since, George Eastman set up his first factory, having perfected the dry plate process for photography. It was a revolution in being able to communicate on a mass market basis through pictures. He would have loved the Wi-Fi-enabled frame. Eastman was a lifelong bachelor, a tinkerer and a restless soul. He did give us one of more memorable quotes about work and life: “What we do during our working hours determines what we have; what we do in our leisure hours determines what we are.”
On last Wednesday’s 12/13/06 Live Broadcast of Mobility TV, Chris Kozup talked about using wireless outside during our Now You Can segment. Chris said, “Now you can hold your staff meetings in the park on a beautiful spring day using outdoor wireless access rather than sitting in a stuffy conference room without windows.”Those of us behind the scenes busily answering viewer questions laughed and said,”Yes, we’re ready for springtime! We want to go outside to answer Mobility TV viewer questions rather than sit in this stuffy, windowless conference room.” Today, we can easily move outdoors. Wireless mesh has made that possible! Outdoor wireless access is no longer limited to within 300 feet of a wired port. With wireless mesh, outdoor access can be deployed anywhere with line of site between mesh access points and power (street lights, traffic signals, etc.). Only one mesh access point needs to be wired into the network, all of the other mesh access points send and receive data via a wireless backhaul (Cisco Launches City-Wide Outdoor Wireless ‘Mesh’ Solution).Outdoor wireless can now be pervasively deployed. And companies, cities, public agencies, and service providers are working together to come up with clever ways to bring outdoor wireless to their local regions, for example….. Read More »
“I always avoid prophesying beforehand because it is much better to prophesy after the event has already taken place. ” --Winston Churchill It is the time of the year where many of us are sprinting — or crawling on all fours — to the rest and rewards of the holidays. Seeing today is the winter solstice, I thought it an apt time to post my top 10 predictions for Enterprise Mobility for 2007. As the days start, again, to lengthen, let us see how accurate these will prove. 1. 2007 will be the year mobility means more than cell phones. For most people, mobility is exclusively tied to our mobile phones. While voice communications clearly will be one of the key drivers for enterprise mobility for many years to come, I think we saw a lot of other activity in 2006 that suggests more will be afoot next year. Access to horizontal business applications like SAP as well as specialized vertical applications in healthcare, insurance, government and every other industry will become the next drive. And as varied as the applications are, so we will see the utilization of lots of other mobile devices, including PDAs and mini-PCs (http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_BrowseCatalog-Start?CategoryName=cpu_VAIONotebookComputers_UX_Series&Dept=computers). In addition, emerging consumer variation of platforms like gaming devices -as we saw in the entrance of the Sony MYLO -will appear in 2007.2. Mobility services, more than access technologies, will drive the growth of wireless and mobile technologies. In 2006, Cisco introduced the concept of”mobility solutions.” Although Internet and LAN access has driven much of the push for secure wireless services, we saw our work in context-rich applications such as location-based asset tracking really start to take off (expect integrated GPS services also to start to play bigger). Also, rich handoffs and variations of unified communications services are likely to be a big winner next year as will guest services. Stay tuned for 4 new services in 2007.3. Mobility will become more about the experience. At their inception, we accepted performance trade-offs for the use of mobile networks and devices (remember, the opening jingle of the cellular industry 30 years ago was snap, crackle and drop!). But with increasing capability and quality, the bar has been raised. Increasingly, the performance of mobile networks is becoming richer, more bulletproof and bandwidth/QOS rich. To this, expect companies to take advantage of a more robust infrastructure by developing applications that are more mobile-aware as well as conditioned to take advantage of some of the inherent capabilities in mobility. For example, companies will make significant investments in making their webpages and internet-based applications appear/perform better on mobile (non-PC devices) as well as take advantage of mobility to provide location specific information in both business-to-business (e.g., municipal information systems) as well as business-to-consumer applications (e.g., local services)4. Expect significant increases in enterprise-wide (pervasive) WLAN deployments. As many of the initial security and management/performance issues for WLANs have been solved -and the cloud hanging over them dispersed — businesses of all sizes will see WLANs as mission-critical, specifying them in, alongside wired networks, as key infrastructure. Expect pervasive deployments to grow faster in the”office vertical” than the market growth rate for WLAN.5. Emerging markets will lead the way in wireless broadband as a primary access infrastructure. In many emerging markets, wireless data networks, including Wi-Fi Mesh as well as WiMAX, along with cellular, will offer new alternatives for primary broadband access. In existing markets with strong wired infrastructure, the marginal costs of adding new subscribers are very low. In markets without wired broadband, wireless technologies could prove very interesting, economically, as an alternative to wiring.6. Network Identity will emerge as a critical component of mobility services. Increasingly how you”are served” on the network will depend on who you are. Mobile network services will now offer services (bandwidth/QoS, security), capabilities (based on location or presence) and application access by knowing who you are.7. Gaming approaches will support mobile networks. As the generation of workers weaned on Internet or multi-party gaming join the work force, expect them to use mobile technologies to change the nature of work. So, lest you think I launched into spiked eggnog too early, let me explain. What is interesting about gamers is how they form together to start a game (guild). The leader (guild master) puts the game in play and then dissolves it when it is over. The next game may be led by another leader. To wit, project work can integrate people and information from a broad range of environments, whether people are in the same network or company, or whether than are in another country on a wireless connection. 8. The hype around mobile TV and advertisements will give way to corporate mobile video. With all due respect to the people watching ESPNMobile, I think a lot of short video may come from corporations reaching people via non-pc devices. What could be more useful than a salesperson about to go in being able to watch a video of the company’s best salesperson pitching their newest product on their TREO for 2 ½ minutes. Increasingly, video is making its way into business training and communications, not just YouTube, and that is something people will pay for9. Cellular operators will become open to new wireless access technologies. Although many cellular equipment vendors tried to cause a WLAN v. cellular technology religion debate over the past few years, increasingly carriers are looking at newer technologies as a way to deliver broadband data and other services. One of the clearest examples of this is SingTel’s decision to build a Wi-Fi mesh network across Northern Singapore. 10. Mobility will help drive the Internet of Things. Although much of the discussion around mobile technologies focuses on people communicating with people or people accessing information, increasingly devices talking to other devices is becoming important. This is the critical underpinning behind RFID and Active WLAN tags. In 2007, the language of location and tags will move more to asset optimization and the one of the critical aspects of Web 2.0: bringing analog assets into the digital world. What this last point means is that sensors, RFID and other capabilities will allow billions and billions of assets (goods, badges, blade servers, subway cards -you name it) to be recognized by the network and hence provide data and insight into how systems are run and lives take place. This will ultimately mean the 400M WLAN devices in service today will look like a drop in the bucket in comparison to the hundreds of billions or trillions of devices connected through wireless and mobile networks. Now, that sounds like Enterprise Mobility
It’s been 5 years since one of my favorite writers Ken Kesey died. The author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Sometimes a Great Notion, was a great entertainer (who I interviewed in college) as well as a great writer. Although he is mostly You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.