Today’s Devices Are Getting Smarter, and Getting There Sooner Than You Think!

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Michael's Restaurant at Shoreline 2003-04-02

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Today’s Devices Are Getting Smarter, and Getting There Sooner Than You Think!

The most interesting advances in wireless communications these days are not in the network, but at its edges; not in the competition between transmission protocols like CDMA, TDMA, and GSM, but in the hardware and software power becoming available to wireless device users. Two trends stand out: toward smaller devices and toward smarter devices.

On the smaller side, there is tremendous potential for gathering intelligence. Miniature, low-power wireless sensing devices will soon be so cheap and unobtrusive that they can be scattered across buildings or battlefields, where they will monitor structural stresses or troop movements and send their data home hop-by-hop, Internet-style, through self-organizing networks of fellow devices. On the smarter side, cell phones and wireless PDAs are becoming intelligent themselves, gaining enough built-in processing power to download and run sophisticated mapping, gaming, or telemetry-gathering software.

Our panelists will talk about the advances in software, hardware, and the wireless infrastructure that are needed to keep these trends going, and they'll ask how these new technologies can be applied intelligently in market segments where they will be truly useful and profitable.

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