Thursday, June 26, 2008
Slightly off-topic, but indeed disruptive.
I find it interesting that more stories about geothermal are appearing.
When I look at the Geothermal Resource map, I see an upcoming pattern that could develop for the entire renewable energy industry.
How Geothermal Energy Works
Under Earth's crust, there is a layer of hot and molten rock called magma. Heat is continually produced there, mostly from the decay of naturally radioactive materials such as uranium and potassium.
The amount of heat within 10,000 meters (about 33,000 feet) of Earth’s surface contains 50,000 times more energy than all the oil and natural gas resources in the world.
In thousands of homes and buildings across the United States, geothermal heat pumps use the steady temperatures just underground to heat and cool buildings, cleanly and inexpensively.
DOE To Invest $90M In Advanced Geothermal Energy
A 2007 Massachusetts Institute of Technology study, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, estimated that geothermal energy will eventually power 25 million U.S. homes at a combined cost of $40 million per year
From Telegraph UK Harness Volcano Power, Energy Experts Say
Volcanoes and hot springs could supply up to 25 per cent of America's power needs, energy experts have said.
As fuel prices soar, Alaskan officials announced the exploration of the state's volcanoes, saying they could be exploited to provide energy for thousands of homes.
Do you see the emerging pattern?
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Every VIN number gets an IP address, and Physical World Connection takes a big leap.
From LA Times Chrysler Offers Wireless Internet Access In 2009 Models
The nation's third-largest automaker is set to announce Thursday that it's making wireless Internet an option on all its 2009 models. The mobile hotspot, called UConnect Web, would be the first such technology from any automaker.
Here's what I wonder:
Is this a major blow to OnStar? Do you really need satellite service?
If you're able to listen to internet radio, how does this impact satellite radio players?
What happens to GPS players (Garmin etc)?
Is this a boom for location based service players?
What internet connected options could insurance companies offer to lower premiums?
Chrysler says that when the car is in motion, the service is intended to be used only by passengers.
Chrysler brings Infobahn to Autobahn
Most of the other automakers, not to mention Microsoft, are right behind them, and there's a push to bring some standards to the hardware.
Chrysler says UConnect Web uses cellular and WiFi technology to provide "instant access" to the internet
UConnect Web is an extension of the company's UConnect system, which provides Bluetooth connectivity for cellphones and MP3 player integration with the car stereo. Rival Ford provides similar services, but without Web access, in its popular Sync system.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The Internet For Everyone, a new initiative aimed at making broadband a priority in the U.S., got a big push yesterday.
"People have just accepted that bandwidth is something that American families will spend hundreds of dollars on per month. People don't realize how much we pay for how little bandwidth we actually get."
"Spectrum liberation in our time needs to be a priority for any national broadband policy," Wu said.
"And the 'white space' spectrum is a good way to do that. It offers a ton of bandwidth."
--Columbia University professor Tim Wu
Internet For Everyone Bridges Digital Divide
Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press, introduced the initiative, saying it was "outrageous" that "the country that invented the Internet" ranked 15th in broadband penetration at last count.
"Closing the broadband digital divide," said Silver, "must be a national priority."
According to Silver, the campaign would not support or oppose specific legislation, but instead would champion four core principles:
-- Access (fat pipes in every home),
-- choice (real competition between providers),
-- openness (this appears to be a code word for some flavor of 'Net neutrality),
-- innovation (job creation and economic growth).
Federal Communications Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, who declared himself a "frustrated policymaker," said it was clear that "what we're doing in Washington today isn't working."
Google announces the Internet For Everyone Campaign
Today Google joined a national initiative of public interest, civic and industry groups to help launch the Internet for Everyone campaign, whose goal is to make ubiquitous and open broadband access for every American a priority in the next administration.
Why is Google involved? Making the Internet accessible to more Americans is part of our corporate DNA. It's what has motivated our work on municipal wi-fi, in the 700 MHz spectrum auction, our investment in Clearwire and development of Android, and most recently our advocacy in support of opening up the unused portions of the tv spectrum band (White Space) for use by Internet devices.
Google's Larry Page:
Utilizing the unused TV "white spaces" for broadband access would be a tremendous opportunity to bring the Internet to more Americans -- including those in rural areas and first responders.
Because of the much longer range of these spectrum signals, wireless broadband access utilizing the TV white spaces could be brought to more consumers using fewer base stations -- in effect, "wi-fi on steriods".
He said he is "100 percent confident" that the white spaces will be used for Internet access -- it's just a question of when.
The FCC is currently looking at freeing up more spectrum that could be used by new entrants to create new wireless broadband services.
The FCC is eyeing a proposal to free up a 20 MHz wireless spectrum to be used for free wireless services; supporting such efforts is key to supporting a national broadband policy. The commission put out a request for comments on the proposal last week.
Broadband A National Priority
There are still pockets of the U.S., especially in rural areas, where broadband is only offered by one provider or by none at all. And prices per bit are still much higher than they are in other parts of the world.
Broadband proponents see "white spaces" as an important asset to be used in expanding the broadband market.
More white space ponderings.
As more physical objects get connected to the Net (Physical World Connection), and more video producing devices (video cameras, camera phones, surveillance cameras etc) do too, P2P control solutions and/or Internet protocols that make file sharing and transferring more efficient, will be places to watch.
Peer-to-peer file-sharing applications represent 44% of all bandwidth consumed on networks operated by North American Internet service providers, up from around 41% a year ago, according to a survey by Sandvine, a vendor of bandwidth-management systems.
The three biggest overall generators of Internet traffic according to Sandvine’s May survey were:
- peer-to-peer file sharing (43.5%)
- Web browsing (27.3%)
- streaming media (14.8%)
The largest bandwidth hog is streaming video. Who is probably the biggest hog, YouTube.
Should YouTube be responsible for implementing controls?
Should ISP's charge YouTube for the drain on their network?
Wouldn't it be in their best interest to find a solution?
Imagine what happens with high-definition video.
P2P accounted for an even bigger portion of upstream direction, consuming more than twice as much traffic as all other traffic combined. The biggest traffic generator in the upstream direction is peer-to-peer file sharing (75.0%)
From Wikipedia :
P2P networks are typically used for connecting nodes via largely ad hoc connections. Such networks are useful for many purposes. Sharing content files (see file sharing) containing audio, video, data or anything in digital format is very common, and realtime data, such as telephony traffic, is also passed using P2P technology.
Friday, June 20, 2008
In my opinion, this technology is a must have for any retailer involved with perishable items. ..until RFID becomes widely adopted.
It would have been disruptive about 10 years ago, but more advanced technologies are coming that will disrupt this shortly.
Pop! Technology's 'smart' barcodes provide users with real time information about the status and condition of their products at all points of the supply and distribution chain, from manufacture to end-user.
The Company's barcodes, which are compatible with current scanning devices, can provide users with a range of critical information, including product temperature, retail placement, fraud detection and shoppers' buying patterns.
Here's the problem, the item still has to be scanned manually. RFID tags will offer the same function, and many more (dynamically). This bar code is still passive.
Example: their barcode can detect if a carton of milk or package of meat has been exposed to improper temperatures (the barcode is able to determine if the packaging went over x number of degrees) preventing the item from being sold to consumers.
The barcode contains irreversible temperature sensitive ink.
They just announced they have retained Growthink to raise $2.0 million in Series A capital for Pop! Technology, a creator of 'active' barcode.
"Pop! Technology's smart barcodes are indeed very smart, and have the potential to be a disruptive technology that can be utilized by a wide range of industries. We're excited about our client's potential for growth," said Emily Burg, Growthink's Director of Strategy.
In my opinion, disruptive yes, but length of impact very limited.
Growthink is a very reputable and forward thinking investment banking firm, but I am a little surprised they are working with this technology. I wonder how long before various forms of RFID tags leapfrog Pop!'s smart barcode technology.
More on Pop! Technology from Texas Startup
Am I missing something, let me know.
From Reuters Telcos Demand Greener Network Equipment
Power consumption and other “green” issues are fast becoming the information technology industry’s biggest challenge, reports In-Stat
one of the thirstiest devices: the LAN switch
LAN switches analyze incoming network traffic, determine the traffic's destination based on the packet's incoming frame, and forward the frame toward its destination
Switch vendors who address energy efficiency earliest have significant opportunities to develop competitive advantage in their respective markets
Top U.S. phone companies are demanding more energy-efficient equipment from their suppliers, as the costs of maintaining networks and data centers rise due to surging Internet traffic and energy prices
AT&T, the largest U.S. phone company, recently boosted the capacity of its backbone, or main Internet pipeline, to 40 Gigabits per second amid growing popularity for movie downloading, video streaming, Web-based voice and video calls, and mobile Web surfing.
Donovan said the company was already eyeing an upgrade to 100G and beyond, and studying the potential impact on power consumption.
"When we sit down with the lab folks and say what happens at 400G, they come back and say, there's so much power consumption that everything melts," AT&T's CTO Donovan said. "We need to fundamentally rethink how routing is done on the Internet. We have to fundamentally reshape it."
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wall Street Journal Walt Mossberg reviews AirCell's GoGo service.
Beginning this summer, as soon as next month, wireless Internet access will arrive in the passenger cabins of some commercial U.S. airliners.
On these Internet-equipped planes, any passenger with a Wi-Fi enabled laptop — or a cellphone with Wi-Fi — will be able to do almost everything he or she could do online at home or at the office. That includes surfing the Web, using email, having instant-messenger text chats, downloading and uploading files, and streaming video and audio.
A few Web functions will be offered free from Gogo, including access to the American Airlines Web site, to Frommer’s online travel guides and to a limited selection of articles from The Wall Street Journal.
What other companies should subsidize free Web functions?
On my test flight, download speeds varied from 266 kilobits per second to about 1.4 megabits per second, with the most typical speeds hovering between 500 and 600 kbps. Upload speeds were between 250 and 300 kbps.
Speeds could degrade on a large plane with scores of people online simultaneously.
While AirCell is making all of the aviation broadband headlines, Harris Corp recently announced an Air-to-ground solution (ATG) that has 10xs the capacity at same or lower cost. In most cases they offer 10-50x more bandwidth and 5-100xs lower cost per bit.
Aircell gets Internet access to the planes through a network of 92 towers scattered across North America. These essentially are cellphone towers, carrying a high-speed cellphone data signal, except that the Aircell antennas point up, into the sky. A receiver on the underside of the aircraft picks up the signal, which is then distributed through the plane via Wi-Fi.
AirCell has a few obstacles to overcome:
Limited bandwidth, scalability issues and I'm not sure AirCell's service can be used in Europe or Asia.
In Europe, Lufthansa has announced that with the help of T-Mobile it will be reinstating its broadband service (formerly from Connexion) to its long-haul flights by 2008.
Europe seems to be giving voice the nod as an in-flight service, and more bandwidth will be required. The health of US airlines is also a concern. I would keep an eye on the other aviation broadband players.
Look for a high-speed aviation broadband service to get traction in Europe first.
More Aviation Broadband ponderings.
Do clickable or interactive TV ads overcome the effect of time-shifted viewing?
Will interactive TV ads provide dynamic and more relevant info?
So much of TV viewing is done with the use of a DVR (digital video recorder) or TiVo. An ad placed in the original viewing time might not be relevant when viewer actually watches.
If an advertiser could "switch" the ad, or make it interactive, regardless of when the show was viewed, does this save TV advertising?
Yesterday Enders Analysis announced the Internet will overtake television as the biggest advertising medium in Britain this year.
The main engine for growth continues to be paid search on sites such as Google but Enders said it had also seen early signs that the popularity of online video is now making a small contribution to a shift in advertising from television to the Internet.
On the same day Microsoft announced they will acquire interactive TV ad player Navic Networks.
From Washington Post:
Navic's ads are interactive overlays similar to what some advertisers are trying with online video. Except that they are targeted by zipcode to each cable subscriber.
As you are watching a regular TV commercial, for instance, you could click on an overlay that opens up a window with more information on the screen, or ask for a brochure to be sent to you via e-mail or regular mail (since the cable company has your address, that's easy)
Over two years ago Microsoft announced their intent to cash in with click-on ads.
Advertisers pay top dollar to place products in popular television shows and movies.
Microsoft is hoping to expand on the concept with a new technology that allows viewers to click on cars, clothing or other products that appear in online movies or TV shows. For example, viewers of "Sex and the City" could click on Carrie Bradshaw's designer shoes or Kamali sweaters as she walks down a New York street and immediately be transported to advertisements for those products.
WiFi RFID tags offer an easy solution for Physical World Connection.
From Wi-Fi Planet Tuning InTo RFID And Wi-Fi
According to AeroScout director of marketing Josh Slobin, Wi-Fi is poised to finally push RFID into the mainstream
AeroScout has several hundred installations around the world, and has deployed hundreds of thousands of tags, the miniature devices that send out radio beacons used by active RFID tracking systems to determine their location.
“IT managers understand now that they can leverage their existing Wi-Fi networks,” Gabi Daniely says.
“They’re justifying deployment [of RFID] based on the fact that they can use the infrastructure they already have in place—versus having to put in a separate overlay network.”
“They can achieve the same result [with Wi-Fi] at half the cost [of other RFID solutions] and in half the time,” says Slobin.
Asset tracking for now continues to be the killer app. The technology is used everywhere from mines to hospitals to schools, to track the whereabouts of everything from laptops to giant front-end loaders to wandering Alzheimer patients.
Multiple Wi-Fi access points receive a beacon from the RFID tag and relay information about it to a server that calculates location based on a couple of methods—the strength of the signal as received (Received Signal Strength Indication or RSSI) and the time the signal arrived at different APs (Time Difference of Arrival or TDOA)
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
The Financial Times has a piece on the upcoming bandwidth boom. The author is John Roese is chief technology officer at Nortel.
Some interesting points:
At the heart of the internet are fat "pipes" - the fibre-optic equivalents of the LA Freeway - which can carry huge amounts of "traffic" in the form of voice, data, video and any combination thereof. The myriad on and off-ramps - connections that telecom service providers have hooked up to it - are not quite so fat or quite so fast.
Downloading a DVD on demand takes the equivalent bandwidth of 16m web page downloads, 400,000 e-mails, or nearly 2,000 iTunes songs (the size of web, music and e-mail files varies greatly, but these are realistic averages). And one movie on a dual-layer Blu-ray disk consumes the staggering equivalent of 100m web page downloads, 2.5m e-mails, and more than 12,000 iTunes songs.
The new services are gobbling up huge amounts of bandwidth, to the point where we have virtually eliminated the "bandwidth glut" of unused capacity that was built up during the late 1990s dotcom boom. We are, in fact, speeding towards a "bandwidth crisis".
On top of that, we are fast approaching a state of hyperconnectivity, where the number of devices, machines, and applications connected to the network will far exceed the number of people connected to it.
we need to expand the freeway but without the year-long roadworks that cause endless frustration. I would advocate doing this with advanced optical technology that essentially allows vehicles to be stacked on top of each other. This enables up to 10 times as much information to be carried in each lane of traffic without physically widening the road.
Do we need a boom in bandwidth or just bandwidth efficiency?
Ponderings about bandwidth.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
White Space gets a big nod of approval from GE.
A fear and obstacle for White Space is that White Space networking could disrupt hospital telemetry systems.
Initially medical equipment manufacturers like GE Healthcare said that the Microsoft and Google backed white space networking initiative could potentially "directly interfere" and "prevent patient monitoring."
GE Healthcare Approves White Space Solution
General Electric’s Healthcare division has told the FCC that it is now satisfied with a technical solution to protect wireless medical telemetry services when using unlicensed white spaces in digital spectrum.
In a letter to the FCC, GE Healthcare said that channel-protection technology it proposed for healthcare devices “was sufficient … to protect licensed wireless medical telemetry service” on channel 37 from “proposed portable white-spaces devices” that would seek out adjacent channels to use.
Here's a conundrum, NBC, owned by GE and a member of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is in a battle with computer companies over the use of unlicensed portable mobile devices in so-called white spaces between digital-TV channels.
According to Cisco, Internet video will account for half of all consumer Internet traffic by 2012.
In Cisco's Visual Networking Index, video already accounts for a quarter of all consumer Internet traffic. That number is expected to rise to 32 percent by the end of the year.
Where are the opportunities?
Areas I would watch for:
1. Transmission efficiency. Hardware and software that can speed up all types of video transmission.
2. Video search engines. While it's rather easy to scan text to provide relevant related searches, a search engine that can scan audio for words that are relevant will be big. I am thinking of how Google offers the "cache" feature in search results, but this becomes available for video searches as well.
a. this finds a video that is relevant to my search
b. takes me to the place in the video that pertains to my search.
Example: Bill Buckner blunder in 86' Mets victory. I don't remember what inning or game it was, but the search engine takes me to the spot in the video where the blunder occurred.
3. Devices. Soon all camera phones and video cameras will be connected to the Net and will be able to transmit live video feed. Add this to the numerous traffic cameras, surveillance (bank, building, residential) that already exist that will be connected. Opportunities: A massive number of IP addresses will be needed (IPv6) and this will create overload on some networks...alternate methods of Internet connection needed (White Space). In addition device relation management (DRM) software will be big. DRM is enterprise software that enables the monitoring, managing, and servicing of intelligent devices over the Internet.
4. Advertising. I don't mean just placing a video ad next to search results or next to content. I think there is a huge opportunity in placing an ad WITHIN a video. You see backstops at baseball games with ads on them, they are able to place a relevant ad according to the location of the viewer. (NY Yankee game shows Wiz Sports but a viewer watching the game in Florida might see a Sports Authority ad).
The real opportunity for video creators and distributors, is an application that allows an ad/graphic to be placed/inserted within the video.
Example: You're videotaping Johnny's soccer game and transmitting live on the Net to his grandparents. Just like Adsense, you will be able to earn revenue from an advertiser inserting an ad/graphic on the soccer field. Johnny's soccer field has a big Adidas logo on it. (think of the first down marker yellow line in football). A way to monetize the upcoming surge in video content.
Just some ideas I think will come with the video boom.
Any others you can think of?
Monday, June 16, 2008
Research Now, surveyed people who own a camera phone and have accessed the mobile Internet at least once, which amounts to over 34 million people domestically according to M:Metrics.
The online survey showed over 1,000 mobile Internet users from across the United States a short explanation of how ScanLife works with potential applications for the technology.
Participants were then asked to provide a measure of their interest in 2D code technology and to specifically identify the benefits and barriers to using the mobile Internet.
It can be downloaded from the mobile browser on about 70 different handset models at www.getscanlife.com or by texting SCAN to 70734
“This survey confirms a developing trend: that a definite market need exists for this technology and the ScanLife application fills this gap for consumers, connecting them to vital information in a matter of seconds,” said Jonathan Bulkeley, Chief Executive Officer of Scanbuy.
“After deploying ScanLife in a number of international markets, the initial reception from end-users has been extremely positive, and these research results show that 2D barcode technology has huge potential for adoption in the U.S. market as well.”
More stories on ScanBuy
Green Tech Blog has a story about IBM promoting data center energy efficiency
"We want to challenge the (electricity) industry to stop thinking about lighting and motors--the traditional stuff--and look at IT as a big user of electricity," said Steve Cole, program manager for energy efficiency at IBM.
It is estimated that data centers alone consume about 2 percent of the world's electricity. And the rate of energy usage--and spending--is going up steadily.
With the rising cost of electricity and growing environmental awareness, IBM and other IT vendors have invested in more energy-efficient computing gear.
There are several technologies, such as virtualization and techniques for lowering energy usage.
Friday, June 13, 2008
How do airlines combat the rising cost of fuel?
Today they are starting to charge for checked in luggage, but soon they will become the internet service provider in the sky.
From ABC News WiFI In Sky Means Big Bucks For Airlines
-the effort's gaining momentum with at least four airlines planning to roll out in-flight internet access before long, and research suggests it could be a cash cow.
Multimedia Intelligence says sales of in-flight digital broadband likely will exceed $1 billion by 2012
Two technologies have emerged so far, and with that kind of money to be made, several players are jockeying for position in what promises to be a big game.
Air-to-ground (ATG) uses frequencies to transmit signals from ground stations to aircraft in something of a WiFi in the sky. It uses existing infrastructure -- cell towers -- and so is relatively cheap to set up, but at 3-Mbps (buffering... buffering...) throughput per plane, the connections are slow.
That could soon change. (my take)
Harris Corp, a large communications equipment supplier to the FAA, just announced their aviation broadband solution with speeds up to 35 Mbps per plane at this aviation conference
This is an Air-to-ground solution (ATG) is able to offer 10xs the capacity at same or lower cost. In most cases they offer 10-50x more bandwidth and 5-100xs lower cost per bit.
Satellite systems transmit signals using a data transceiver/router, satellite antenna, and 802.11b access points. The big advantage over ATG is its availability -- it works anywhere, including over water -- and it is considered by some to be more robust with a data rate of about 30 Mbps per plane (think low-end DSL). But it costs more for airlines to set up, which is a big consideration for an industry that's hemorrhaging cash.
The Illinois firm Aircell will outfit American Airlines' transcontinental 767 fleet with its air-to-ground product, and Virgin Atlantic has signed on as well.
Southwest is testing a satellite system by the California company Row 44 , and Alaska Airlines is looking at it, too.
JetBlue just announced it's pumping up its LiveTV operation by buying Verizon's Airfone network.
After years of looking for a buyer, Verizon Communications Inc on Monday agreed to sell its Airfone in-flight telephone service to LiveTV LLC
On the international side, Lufthansa has teamed up with T-Mobile, satellite operator SES Global and signal processing equipment maker ViaSat to offer a satellite based service.
There are approximately 2000 planes in air at any one time in US or Europe and the leading player can't accommodate even a fraction of these planes.
Dana Waldman, chief executive officer of Voyant International commented in the aviation broadband release, “Harris’ state-of-the art technology and support will allow us to offer our airline customers the high broadband capacity and excellent service they require.”
More ponderings on Aviation Broadband
This should give Google's White Space Initiative even more weight.
White Space offers "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide ubiquitous wireless broadband access to all Americans".
Broadband services and speeds are ranked higher than any other "new" service when it comes to their importance to consumers.
New survey results from Pike & Fischer Broadband Advisory Services show that while HDTV and digital phone service were important to some consumers, high-speed data came out ahead of the rest.
-almost 40 percent of Pike & Fischer's survey respondents gave high-speed data the highest rating. Comparatively, only about 25 percent ranked HDTV as high, and digital phone service was at the bottom of the list, with under 10 percent ranking it a five.
A recent report by Akamai pointed out that countries like South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong all have relatively high percentages of broadband connections over 5Mbps (64, 48, and 35 percent, respectively), while only 20 percent of US connections fall into that category.
When it comes to just "fast" connectivity (over 2Mbps), the US ranked at number 24 in the list—South Korea once again came out on top, followed by Belgium and Switzerland.
The average download speed in the US was a mere 1.9Mbps.
Pike & Fischer points out the fairly obvious (to us geeks, anyway): without high broadband speeds, millions of other features being offered to us by cable companies and telcos will have a harder time getting off the ground.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand routers.
The Wall Street Journal has a story The Internet: Then And Now
The two images above are maps of the Internet, specifically the “routers” – equipment that passes data to its intended destination – and the paths between them.
The map on the left was made 10 years ago, and shows about 88,000 routers. The one on the right was made a couple of months ago. This time Lumeta mapped over 450,000 routers.
The upshot is that it’s now a lot more efficient to send data around the world.
The telecommunications companies and other organizations that operate the insides of the Internet have added so much equipment that there are now five times as many roads and ramps as there were a decade ago.
Engineer Live summarizes a speech given by Gartner's David Cearley on upcoming disruptive technologies.
Multicore processors are expanding the horizons of what is possible with software, but single-threaded applications will be unable to take advantage of their power, Cearley said.
By 2010, Gartner predicts that web mashups, which mix content from publicly available sources, will be the dominant model (80 per cent) for the creation of new enterprise applications.
According to Gartner, within the next five years, information will be presented via new user interfaces such as organic light-emitting displays, digital paper and billboards, holographic and 3D imaging and smart fabric.
According to Cearley, chief information officers (CIOs) who see their jobs as 'keeping the data centre running, business continuity planning and finding new technology toys to show to people' will not survive.
Gartner’s top 10 disruptive technologies for 2008-2012 are as follows:
* Multicore and hybrid processors
* Virtualisation and fabric computing
* Social networks and social software
* Cloud computing and cloud/web platforms
* Web mashups
* User interface
* Ubiquitous computing
* Contextual computing
* Augmented reality
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
From C/Net WiFi Startup Challenges Bluetooth Technology
Ozmo Devices, which has raised $12.5 million since 2005, officially introduced a new low-powered Wi-Fi chip and software that will allow device makers to connect accessories like headsets, computer mice, speakers, and keyboards to laptops, mobile phones, and other consumer electronics using Wi-Fi.
For laptop and device manufacturers, using Ozmo's software means not having to include a separate Bluetooth radio in these devices to connect peripherals. With the Ozmo software installed on their devices, these manufacturers can simply use the Wi-Fi chips that already exist in laptops, gaming consoles, mobile handsets, and other devices.
Unlike Bluetooth, which only provides short-range connectivity between peripherals and devices, Wi-Fi is used primarily to provide Internet connectivity. Bluetooth is widely used by thousands of device manufacturers for short-range wireless communications within a range of about 30 feet, but runs on a separate radio from Wi-Fi.
In order for the Ozmo technology to work, device makers will have to embed Ozmo's software. And peripheral makers will have to integrate the Ozmo chip, which includes a subset of the Wi-Fi standard, into their devices.
Ozmo's technology offers faster data transfers and better battery life on the actual peripherals, such as headsets, than Bluetooth offers. And because security is already built into Wi-Fi standards such as 802.11n, Ozmo's Wi-Fi technology is also more secure than Bluetooth,