From: Norm Jacknis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Mar 13 2003 - 23:10:04 EST
By Tony Scott
March 13, 2003
Just as the automobile helped make portable radios a viable mass market
concept, ubiquitous broadband wireless connectivity could ultimately be
driven by its adoption in the automobile.
Have you ever heard your elders ask you to get something out of the "ice
course, they were referring to the refrigerator, which has long since
original "box." Similarly, how many times have you heard somebody refer to a
phone as a "car phone"? Technology has moved these products way beyond
Although wireless technologies may be remarkable today, I think we will soon
thinking about whether there is a wire or not. In fact, wired may become the
exception. Almost none of the contractors working on my recent home
used anything but wireless tools. (I know you were not thinking about that
wireless, but battery and power management technology is one of the key
The automobile may just be the vehicle (pun intended) to bring on the next
generation of wireless technology. One current example -- the mass adoption
(radio frequency identification) tags (such as E-ZPass on tollways,
turnpikes and toll bridges) is driving up usage of this wireless technology
and driving costs down dramatically.
The adoption rate of digital satellite radio is being
accelerated by the major automobile manufacturers,
although the experience is just as compelling at home. And soon an
increasing number of cars will come with a digital wireless key
-- it will just stay in your pocket or purse. If you own more than
one vehicle, you may eventually only have to carry one wireless
digital key for all your automotive needs. And it could obviously go
further than that.
Just as the automobile helped make portable radios a viable
mass market consumer concept, I think that ubiquitous broadband
wireless connectivity could ultimately be driven by its adoption in the
Finally, the same basic fuel cell technology that will power future
automobiles will also be used to power wireless devices, such as cell
phones, laptops, and
PDAs , but instead of battery life measured in hours, the new fuel cell
technology will enable "untethered time" to be measured in days.
My argument for the auto industry as an enabler for some of these emerging
technologies is based on the premise that the industry has two unique
First is scale. The U.S. auto industry delivers 15 million toll million new
cars to market each year. This volume can help drive the unit cost of any
new technology to the lowest possible level. Second, the industry has enough
clout to drive standards in almost any area that it engages in.
However, the wireless world will not be without its challenges. In my view,
likely to be the biggest unsolved issue we will have to face as the world
more and more wireless. It's the one issue that I think has the potential to
sabotage all the great innovation taking place in the wireless world.
Imagine coming home to your wireless "ice box" only to discover hundreds of
junk e-mails and instant messages posted there. You might wish you just had
a handful of tacky refrigerator magnets to deal with.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.6 : Thu Mar 13 2003 - 23:55:01 EST