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Communications Networking Wireless Networking

Forming New Mobile Networks With People-Borne Sensors 49

Posted by timothy
from the game-of-telephone dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from Medical Daily: "Members of the public could form the backbone of powerful new mobile internet networks by carrying wearable sensors. According to researchers from Queen's University Belfast, the novel sensors could create new ultra high bandwidth mobile internet infrastructures and reduce the density of mobile phone base stations. The engineers from Queen's renowned Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), are working on a new project based on the rapidly developing science of body centric communications."
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Forming New Mobile Networks With People-Borne Sensors

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  • And access what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by snowraver1 (1052510) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @05:30PM (#34056766)
    My Blackberry already has crappy battery life. The last thing I want is my battery life to be dependant on my neigbours' usage
    • Re-read the summary, if you even did that.

      These are seperate devices, not in your mobile phones, that you wear. They simply have their own battery power and provide the backbone for your network.

  • by dtmos (447842) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @05:40PM (#34056884)

    The IEEE 802.15.6 task group on body area networks [ieee802.org] has been standardizing a communication protocol for similar sensor applications, but emphasizing long battery life rather than high data rates.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why should "Members of the public.." have to shoulder the burden? What about those lazy, unproductive chickens, rabbits, rats, seagulls. At least it will give them something else to do rather than stealing my lunch.

  • Redirect... (Score:2, Funny)

    by al3k (1638719)
    All I can imagine are situations similar to setting an open access point to redirect everything to meatspin as a prank...or possibly something slightly more malicious
  • by gilgongo (57446) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @05:59PM (#34057068) Homepage Journal

    From TFA: "Success in this field will not only bring major social benefits it could also bring significant commercial rewards for those involved."

    If they're talking about a type of mesh network, then I say bring it on! Right now, things really don't look good for the "traditional" Internet as we know it. It's controllable servers, lap-dog ISPs, government p0wned routers, etc. One day, the net will just be Rupert Murdoch's pay-ground just as sure as cable TV went main stream in the 1980's.

    Take out the centrality, enter the mesh. They stole our revolution - let's steal it back!!

    (Sits back and waits for the sound of cynical laughter and replies beginning "In the real world...")

    • by blair1q (305137) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @06:15PM (#34057232) Journal

      It's going to have some technological hurdles to cross, like transatlantic links...unless you like rowing...

    • Could be useful for pira- er, content distribution. Just think of your phone/node broadcasting every minute, 'Anyone got the file(/segment) of SHA265 hash xxxxxxxxxxx?' If any phones nearby are running the app, they can reply and send it over. In a time where ISPs are imposing harsh usage quotas, and mobile devices can have sixty gig of storage in flash, this sounds almost practical.
      • by gilgongo (57446)

        Absolutely. In fact, scoot forward maybe 20-30 years or so and imagine passively-powered storage devices. Imagine them tiny, dirt cheap, made in China and anywhere you care to look.

        Boof - we got ourselves a totally new world: On my way to work, my phone alerts me to the fact that I've just walked past the entire works of Hollywood, in 1080p, on a chip the size of a pinhead and the cost of a stick of gum. Would I like to copy some to my device? OK. 10 seconds later, I've got everything made between 1940 and

  • by lanceran (1575541) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @06:06PM (#34057132)
    I can see this becoming a tool for survelliance with the ability to track down anyone with a wifi station, which can easily become as popular as cellphones.
    • This could be brilliant, except attach the devices to a vehicle, there are less privacy concerns and I'd happily give up the location of my vehicle to the authorities for the extra security of being able to track it down if it gets stolen. attaching it to people seems silly, but attach it to a vehicle that turns on only when the vehicle is running could work? an opt in method when purchasing the car as well to negate security concerns (with the bonus of having the internet with you where ever your car is n
  • Sure. I'll do that. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by blair1q (305137) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @06:14PM (#34057222) Journal

    Because I've always wanted to be part of a hive.

    Especially one geared towards tracking me and everyone near me.

  • Rough Cuts (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    For those who might be interested, haee a look at this upcoming O'Reilly title.

    http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596807740 [oreilly.com]

    In addition to RFID chipping my cat, I'm building him a GPS-enabled collar that I can ping him should he escape using my cell phone.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      In addition to RFID chipping my cat, I'm building him a GPS-enabled collar that I can ping him should he escape using my cell phone.

      Your cat uses a cell phone to escape? Wow, smart cat! My cat's dumb, she moves her lips when she reads.

  • On empty streets? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by c0lo (1497653) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @07:50PM (#34058026)
    Deep in the night (what are you doing there?), about to be attacked by muggers, can't dial 000 because is nobody on the street and the cell tower density has been reduced.
    • by mail2345 (1201389)

      However people can still leave their routers on while they sleep/are at home.
      But of course the signal would be weaker.

      • by c0lo (1497653)

        However people can still leave their routers on while they sleep/are at home. But of course the signal would be weaker.

        Would you bet your life on the people letting their routers opened and with free access?

        I mean, there's a difference between a contract with a mobile provider (at least, assuming that they can prove it, your estate can sue the telecom if a signal should have been available - as advertised - in the area and it was not) and "maybe the routers would be functional, maybe not".

    • You would do what we did twenty years ago, before mobile phones: run like hell, scream and shout, rather than calmly ringing 000/911 and making sure that the police can get a fix on the position that the bad guy will leave your body.
      • by c0lo (1497653)

        You would do what we did twenty years ago, before mobile phones: run like hell, scream and shout, rather than calmly ringing 000/911 and making sure that the police can get a fix on the position that the bad guy will leave your body.

        Yes, I would certainly do the above. However, being able to supplementary call the emergency services is a plus, don't you think?
        Think at another: what about having a heart attack? With a coverage map from the telecom company, I can learn in advance were I have coverage and where I don;t. With this nice technology, I only know that maybe I have but maybe a won't, all depends on how many subscribers the telecom has and how many of them are on the street at the moment.

        Don't take me wrong, I'm not diminishing

  • What this proposal means is basically that everybody carry around extra batteries so that people far from the tower don't have to.

    But, really, now, there are more fun way of getting help with your dying battery than that. Like "Hey, lady, can I plug my high-powered USB plug into your USB socket to recharge my battery?" So much more personal!

  • Like seriously, what self-respecting carrier will sit by and let this idly happen? Their carrier status will dissappear overnight, they will be a commodity everyone is, and they'll lose control of the power, money and status they now receive. ... Yeah. It's not that it's a bad idea - It's that there is a massive Hydra to battle with many heads that can poison the minds of even the most idealistic phone makers...
  • Wireless protocols are nothing new. We all carry cell phones. What these guys need is to download the android sdk.

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