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Wanted: Wi-Fi Lite

Ross Rubin over at ZiffDavis is looking for “WiFi Lite”. Basically, he thinks we should use the basic WiFi infrastructure to offer something that is lower speed, lower cost, longer battery life, and wider range. His reasoning is that most WiFi applications don’t need all the speed that WiFi gives – however, there are plenty of devices and applications that could make use of WiFi, but don’t make sense due to the current price of the chipsets. So, he argues, if you could create a much cheaper, lesser power system that still runs over WiFi, you could really find some additional useful applications. He argues for a simple “pager” type system that could alert people over a wider area (like what restaurants use) or a cheaper, better WiFi “Finder” keychain device to tell you where WiFi networks are. He knows about other, lower power technologies that are out, or are coming along, but suggests they don’t have the support that WiFi already has. Offering WiFi-lite devices could take advantage of the currently installed and rapidly growing infrastructure.

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