The Economist writes: “New wireless technologies will link not just people but lots of objects too. That will be tremendously useful; but getting there will be tricky.”
In years to come, wireless communications will increasingly become part of the fabric of everyday life. David Clark, a computer scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who helped develop the internet, believes that in 15 or 20 years’ time the network will need to accommodate a trillion devices, most of them wireless. To illustrate what that world might be like, Robert Poor, the co-founder of two wireless companies, Adozu and Ember, uses a modest example: light fixtures in buildings. If every one of them contained a small wireless node, people would not only be able to control the lighting more effectively but put them to many other uses too. If the nodes were programmed to serve as online smoke detectors, they could signal a fire as well as show its location. They could also act as a security system or provide internet connectivity to other things in the building.