7 Weird Wireless Concepts That Just Might Work - InformationWeek

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3/7/2015
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7 Weird Wireless Concepts That Just Might Work

Here, we bring you some of the biggest, strangest, and best ideas to come out of the 2015 Mobile World Conference.
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(Source: Nevit Dilman via Wikimedia Commons)

(Source: Nevit Dilman via Wikimedia Commons)

At IT Life, we like it when people think big, crazy, or outside the box. We especially like when they do all three. Amongst the new smartphones and business partnerships that streamed out of the 2015 Mobile World Congress were some ideas that take us well off the beaten path.

Some of the best ideas from MWC rely on near-horizon technology not yet perfected, or they aren't from major players. Some of them are just plain wacky. Some will never really make it, but they will at least inspire another round of ideas. That’s the best part of thinking big. This was a good year for thinking big, with several big shifts, including 5G on the way, digital payments options growing, IoT products becoming more mature, and connected cars and homes becoming more common.

The IoT has given innovators a chance to come up with some good proofs-of-concept for the next generation of consumer products that will help us get what we need faster and more reliably. Our lives will also get easier and healthier, with new in-home and personal care products. But there's also a little room to have some fun.

Security was another major aspect of MWC, and there were some "interesting" ideas to come out of the minds of our more paranoid mobile innovators. One might even kick off the best fashion trend in hacking since the black hat.

Check out the biggest, weirdest, most interesting ideas to come out of MWC this year, and then tell us which ones you would want in the comments section below.

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio

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Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
3/14/2015 | 7:08:16 AM
Re: Not Loony
In my opinion, this is just better than nothing - having coverage in bad conditions is important. Even if the coverage is not good, we should get at least something.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
3/11/2015 | 12:58:34 PM
Re: Not Loony
Also, they are starting by serving markets with no coverage otherwise. Even if coverage goes away in bad weather, wouldn't coverage in good weather be better than no coverage?
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
3/11/2015 | 12:57:31 PM
Re: Not Loony
@propecttoreza- Oh, I'm sure they've thought about the weather. They are using weather balloons which have been around a long time. And they've been testing in New Zealand and California for over a year. I'm guessing they have a solution which gives them a fair amount of uptime in bad weather. My cable internet goes out in bas weather sometimes. So if they keep the uptime similar, they'll be fine.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
3/11/2015 | 12:23:51 PM
Re: Not Loony
Project Loon sounds genius and could make a huge impact at little cost. That said, I have to wonder what Google would do if one of those balloons got caught in a storm. Bad weather isn't a huge issue in CA, but it would undoubtedly be a big factor in areas where these balloons are placed.
prospecttoreza
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prospecttoreza,
User Rank: Strategist
3/11/2015 | 9:19:15 AM
Re: Not Loony
I guess Google might have thought about weather, but then again - they are located in CA, where the weather is almost non-existant, so they could have missed that ;-) How about winds, storms, hurricanes, hail, and lightning? If the baloons are below clouds, they'd be volnarable to the weather conditions, and if they are above, the signal will be lost in the storms similar to what happens to satellite signal in bad weather.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
3/9/2015 | 1:25:11 PM
Re: Not Loony
@Chris- Yes, i think this is a big deal. My only issue is that I'm struggling to figure out what happens when these things go missing. they still find balloon bombs from World War II in the woods of the west cost off and on all these years later. Is google going to bother to go pick these up when they lose them in remote places and what are the environmental and safety impacts when they fail. 

Beyond that, i think this is just brilliant.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
3/9/2015 | 1:22:13 PM
Not Loony
I'm hugely interested in work like project Loon. You might start by trying to fill in the gaps in today's Internet infrastructure. You might end up with a competitor to today's Internet infrastructure, everywhere. Same story with some of the low-earth-orbitiing satellites under development, and other alternative access tech.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
3/9/2015 | 12:54:31 PM
Re: Privacy enhancing
@whoopty- I assume this will just create some sort of government arms race between people trying to keep privacy and governments trying to take it away. But you have to admire the people for trying.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
3/9/2015 | 12:50:49 PM
Re: For me it's a tie
@progman2000- Why would you need the woods if you had the glasses and the phone? You could live anywhere.

One thing i wonder about is what does Homeland Security do if these glasses start showing up at airports. You can't make everyone take off their glasses. They'd bump into stuff. Presumably, it wouldn't take long for people to say, "but these are perscription." I assume the material will be quickly banned or at least forced into obscure corners of the society where they do little good.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
3/9/2015 | 10:02:24 AM
Re: For me it's a tie
Haha...awesome idea! I would love this kind of cabin, too. Without smartphone and WiFi, I feel unsettled and started to dungle around - this is not so good, though. 
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