Cellphones team up to make Wi-Fi where you want it

Posted: December 6, 2009 in Technology
Tags: , , , , , ,

From the article:

Microsoft has built a system that knits together the internet connections of a collection of smartphones to create a high-speed wireless hotspot that computers can use when other connections aren’t available.

The computers connect to the phones using short-range Wi-Fi, requesting web pages as if they were using a wireless router with a wired connection to the internet, and the cellphones use their long-range cellular connection to get the files requested from the net.

Crucially, the system, dubbed Cool-Tether, carefully manages the cellphones’ use of battery-hogging wireless to make it practical. Phones and computers all need special software installed to use it.

Researchers at Microsoft Research India, in Bangalore, first developed the idea in 2007. But Combine, as the system was then called, simply used as many connections as it could from nearby phones to make a computer’s internet connection as fast as possible. Because of this, the heavy power overheads Wi-Fi places on a portable device limited its usefulness.

Now Microsoft researchers and colleagues at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have created Cool-Tether, the first energy-aware technique for forming these on-the-fly hotspots using cellphones.

“Instead of blindly using all the available phones, Cool-Tether determines the optimal number of phones to use to send the contents of the web page,” says Vishnu Navda, a computer scientist with Microsoft Research India.

And then all they need to do is make it free so that everyone can access the internet at all times at any place.

But that’s not going to happen is it?

Probably not, but this is still very cool.

Original site.

WOG out.

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