WiFi in Sensors and RFID - More Evidence

My recent note on extending Wi-Fi into the realm of PANs and even to sensors and RFID drew a bit of incredulity, as I actually expected. It's always true that new technologies begin life by imitating the immediately preceding technology - for example, TV was just a way of showing theatrical performances over the wide area. Wi-Fi began by emulating Ethernet (keep in mind that the original name of the Wi-Fi Alliance was the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance, or WECA), but there was obviously no reason why it couldn't do a lot more than just that, as it has and is. New missions and new markets are the name of the game as the technology evolves down the faster/better/cheaper path.

As is the case with Wi-Fi. On Friday I spoke with senior executives of little-known Redpine Signals, a company pursuing opportunities in low-cost/low-power/small-form-factor Wi-Fi, most notably single-stream 802.11n. Check out their Web site, and note the application briefs on wireless sensor nodes, Wi-Fi RTLS tags, wireless remote controls, and more. There's nothing that other contemporary limited-distance RF technologies can do that Wi-Fi can't. Simple as that. And I still contend that Wi-Fi will be it in this area, and that the combination of a cellular technology (eventually, just LTE) plus Wi-Fi (eventually, .11n), will be all you need. Again, simple as that.

More on this via a really fascinating application later this week. For now, though, feel free to be incredulous, and enjoy that while it lasts.

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