Send Out the Bat Signal

from the my-desktop-follows-me- dept

Gary Brown writes “An illustrated article running at HowStuffWorks shows how a group of researchers at AT&T Laboratories Cambridge are preparing to put a new spin on mobile computing. In addition to taking the hardware with you, they are designing a ubiquitous networking system that allows your program applications to follow you wherever you go. By using a small radio transmitter (bat) and a building full of special sensors, your desktop can be anywhere you are, not just at your workstation. Users within the system will wear a bat, a small device that transmits a 48-bit code to the receivers in the ceiling. Bats also have an imbedded transmitter which allows it to communicate with the central controller using a bidirectional 433-MHz radio link. Bats are 3 inches long (7.5 cm) by 1.4 inches wide (3.5 cm) by .6 inches thick (1.5 cm), or about the size of a pager. These small devices are powered by a single 3.6-volt lithium thionyl chloride battery, which has a lifetime of six months. The computer uses a spatial monitor to detect if a user?s zone overlaps with the zone of a device.” Seems like an awfully expensive and complex way to do something that can just be done by logging in. Though, the coolness factor might be worth it…

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