Seybold's Take: The future of wireless - page 2

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Before we even enter our car, wired and wireless connectivity will work in parallel to get us started in the morning. One of my favorite new products is the Chumby clock radio. It is billed as a clock radio that is a streaming media player and it connects to the Internet via your WiFi connection. The company is not a client, but it started me thinking about what could or should be next: There is a wireless technology for home and business called ZigBee that is a low-power system used to control lights, temperature and almost anything around a house or office. So if the next Chumby has ZigBee built into it, it will be able to turn on the house heater and start the coffee pot 15 minutes before the alarm goes off.

What if generation No. 3 of the Chumby was also able to, via the Internet and wireless, keep tabs on the weather and your route to work? If traffic was light and the weather was perfect, perhaps it would set the alarm ahead to give you another 15 minutes of sleep. Or in the middle of winter, if the roads were messy and traffic was bad, perhaps it would awaken you 30 minutes earlier. Of course, it would also automatically adjust the time for your coffee pot and heater to come on. It would know the time you will arrive at home so it would turn the heater up (or the air conditioning down) and perform whatever other tasks you desired. (Sorry, you will still have to make your own drink when you get home.)

My last look forward for this column sees our wireless devices becoming our command-and-control devices. Just as our TV or home theater remote controls enable us to interact with our entertainment sources, our wireless devices will enable us to interact with our A/V systems and almost anything we need to query, control or command.

None of this will be easy to accomplish and those who believe that the combination of LTE and IP will make it all so very simple are not living in the real world. We will get there, but there will be many bumps and ditches on the road and we will make a lot of mistakes as we move forward. After all, while we can or will be able to do most of what I have presented and much more, the real questions remain: Will people want and pay for such services? Will they trust the networks and devices? Will they think these advances are great or will they be concerned about being overly reliant on technology?

Only time will tell. Those born and raised with technology in their lives will embrace these coming changes first, and perhaps those who remember the way it was in simpler times will simply shake their heads and marvel at the changes they have seen during their lives. Progress is unstoppable, and progress in the wireless arena means making wireless even more of the focal point for our communications requirements going forward.

Andrew Seybold is an authority on technology and trends shaping the world of wireless mobility. A respected analyst, consultant, commentator, author and active participant in industry trade organizations, his views have influenced strategies and shaped initiatives for telecom, mobile computing and wireless industry leaders worldwide. Sign up for the Andrew Seybold Wireless University, which will occur on Oct.  6th, the day prior to CITA Wireless I.T.  & Entertainment 2009 in San Diego. For information click here.

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