• United States
Contributing Writer

Wireless LANs: A mobile worker’s dream

Mar 13, 20032 mins
AT&TEnterprise ApplicationsHotspots

* How could WLANs help you?

Cometa, the joint effort between AT&T, Intel and IBM, last week announced its intention to set up more than 20,000 wireless LAN hot spots. In my opinion, it couldn’t happen soon enough.

I see so much potential for wireless technology. Especially in the e-commerce and travel arenas. The more I travel, the more I realize that what I’m missing are all the conveniences of a home office – especially printing.

Yesterday, I was rushing through the airport – ironically on the Wireless LANs Technology Tour – when I received a message on my handheld that was a bit lengthy. It would have been great to sidle up to a “business center,” connect to a printer and for a nominal fee print out the message. All of this without having to connect any cables or reconfigure any settings.

Another example of where wireless could benefit travelers is the check-in process. Imagine if you could walk up to a kiosk and rather than enter any info, it could recognize you via your handheld. You wouldn’t have to enter a credit card because your identification would be verified via unique qualifiers beamed from the handheld. Think about that – no fumbling for credit cards, IDs, etc. Just point your secured handheld toward the kiosk and boom, you’re checked in. You could also make sure your frequent flyer numbers, seating preferences, etc., were all entered too.

My dream application involves my expense reports. I charge almost everything during a business trip. What if I could simply beam my credit card information from my handheld to the cash register at each store or restaurant I visit? Then, the handheld would file the transaction under the appropriate listing – food, travel, etc., – and at the end of the trip, I could simply print out an already filled in spreadsheet. Nirvana, no? No more sifting through receipts trying to remember what you spent and why.

These are just a few of the applications that I see for wireless. Put on your thinking caps and let me know how it could help you or your users. E-mail me at