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Cellphones The Internet Wireless Networking Technology

A Mobile Phone Mesh That Can Survive Carrier Network Failure 131

bennyboy64 writes "iTnews reports that researchers from Australia and Singapore are developing a wireless ad-hoc mesh networking technology that uses mobile handsets to share and carry information. The mesh network will make use of Bluetooth or Wi-fi to swap information between handsets — even if the mobile phone network was offline. One potential scenario could be during an emergency where the mobile phone network was unavailable or clogged. In a city centre, users could set up the network to share information, video, photographs and, depending on the final client applications, even locate friends and loved ones. One benefit of developing such a technology would be that users sharing content between their devices would use the wireless communications technology already built into their phones and not bandwidth from their mobile provider. The researchers from the National ICT Australia and Singapore's A*STAR Institute for Infocomm Research hope to demonstrate the technology within two years, according to NICTA project leader Dr Roksana Boreli.'This is an early stage in the research project,' she said. 'We are addressing how you would quickly establish trust between devices, how you would discover them and share the information,' Boreli said."
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A Mobile Phone Mesh That Can Survive Carrier Network Failure

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  • Battery Drain? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01, 2009 @04:43PM (#29610655)

    How is this going to work effectively when we already know how quickly wifi/bluetooth can drain your phone battery?

  • Battery life (Score:4, Informative)

    by Timmmm ( 636430 ) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @05:11PM (#29611027)

    This idea is as old as the hills (or at least mobile phones). It will never really work well though because who wants to waste their phones battery on relaying other people's data?

  • by Zadaz ( 950521 ) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @05:40PM (#29611387)

    Forget independent scientists, Japan's government has been testing this for a number of years. It would be mandated in all new handsets so once there was a major disaster (and Japan loves it's natural disasters) emergency communication would be possible. Like the Emergency Broadcast System only not unidirectional.

    Several years ago I saw a demo where text messages were relayed from phone to phone across most of Tokyo without ever connecting to the infrastructure. It wouldn't be fast, but it would be invaluably helpful with rescue and recovery efforts.

  • Re:Battery life (Score:3, Informative)

    by dominious ( 1077089 ) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @06:17PM (#29611781)
    There are a lot of network protocols designed to save as much energy as possible. Check Low Power Listening. This is actually an interesting idea and there is much research from Cambridge UK too (see Pocket Switched Networks). In the end yes, there is more energy usage, but technology will progress:)
  • by jp102235 ( 923963 ) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @06:22PM (#29611819)
    TCAS: Traffic Collision and Avoidance System
    each plane has an active TACAN and they peer -to- peer negotiate away from each other..... been available for a while now...
    when coupled to an autopilot it even lets you sleep through your daily commute up the Hudson... ok not really...

    3000+ hours Commercial Multi Engine Instructor Pilot
  • by StrategicIrony ( 1183007 ) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @06:25PM (#29611843)

    There is such a system for ocean-going shipping, known as AIS. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_Identification_System [wikipedia.org]

    It's short-range (VHF radio based), but it effectively informs other AIS capable ships of GPS coordinates, direction, speed, rate of turn, status, name, weight, destination, etc.

    I think it has something to do with stubborn FAA policies that are more interested in CYA than pushing the technological forefront.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.