Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a technology that could enable users to connect with each other without an Internet connection AND also when they are far outside of both WiFi and Bluetooth range from each other? Well, apparently we have that technology –called wireless mess networking. It’s not just some big idea anymore either as Apple has mainstreamed it into iOS7. Like I said before, this is going to be huge.
Apple unveiled this technology last month with a messaging app called FireChat, developed by Open Garden (their first iOS app).
Cult of Mac explains that the technology in this app can:
“…Extend an Internet connect to a place where none exists — for example, to a hotel basement, cave or to rural areas where celltower connections are non-existent. It does that through the mesh networking capability inherent in the Multipeer Connectivity Framework. With multiple users in the area, FireChat can relay messages just like the internet does, from node to node (phone to phone).”
The wireless mesh networking technology has given app developers the ability to create tiny Internets that are limited in time and place. This has the potential to eradicate many of the places and situations where connecting to the internet isn’t possible or desirable.
Yes, it would be great to be able to use your phone in areas you normally had no service like basements, out in the woods, etc. But think bigger than that. Imagine the impact this technology can have on our world. Times that people need to communicate but cell towers have been knocked down or no service is available. Think natural disasters. Think poor countries with little to no internet connectivity.
If we can imagine a natural disaster scenario like an earthquake, flood, tornado, tsunami, etc. that would knock out electricity and telephone service, we can see the huge benefit of wireless mesh networking. If you consider the thousands displaced during these natural disasters, you understand the importance of communication during these times. This could be the difference in someone’s survival. This technology is a quick and strategic way to support voice over internet, web access, video conferencing, etc. that can create the necessary communication infrastructure to handle these disasters. We have the potential here to completely change the way disaster relief is handled and organized and even the way that people trapped in disastrous situations can get help.
Obviously, there are so many potential uses for this technology to be used. What ideas do you have? How do you think this is going to change things in our current world? Leave any questions, comments, etc. below!
Also, check out our links below for more info on this technology.