It is Monday morning in the not-too-distant future and two neighbours, Bob the builder and Bob the businessman, are getting ready for work. The builder has to drive to a job in a nearby town and the businessman needs to take the train to the office. They switch on their televisions and request information on road and rail conditions.
Outside their front doors, the two Bobs wish each other a good morning and head their separate ways. On the train, the businessman watches the financial news on his palm pilot, while the builder tunes in his phone to his favourite digital radio channel and relaxes in the morning traffic to some classical music.
Meanwhile, the businessman phones his secretary and tells him through his earpiece that he forgot his PowerPoint presentation and speech. Bob the businessman’s palm pilot bleeps as he enters the state-of-the-art conference centre where he is to give a speech and presentation. It informs him that he has entered a high-data rate zone and asks him whether he would like to switch to ‘superbroadband’.
He sits in the conference building’s lounge area and notices a message from his secretary in his inbox. He begins to download the documents he requested and surfs the web to do some last-minute research.
In the evening, both Bobs decide to go out. The builder checks the opera programme on his phone, while the businessman checks the cinema schedule and they buy their tickets online. Their phones’ e-signatures authenticate who they are. As they enter the opera house and cinema, their phones automatically switch to mute.
Wonders of a wireless world
The EU-backed Wireless World Initiative (WWI) has developed the prototype user-centred systems that have brought these future Bobs a lot closer to the present. The integrated architecture the initiative’s five projects – MobiLife, SPICE, WINNER, Ambient Networks, E2R (see individual boxes) – have developed will potentially enable millions of people to make the most of third-generation and beyond mobile technology to work, relax and play any time, anywhere. And, to top it all off, their experience will not just be wireless but also seamless.
Funded under the previous Sixth Framework Programme (FP6, 2002-2006), the WWI has worked over the past few years to develop ambient networks which will enable the seamless transition and interaction between services across a range of currently distinct and disjointed technology domains.
“In the future, Bob and millions like him will be able to benefit from and enjoy lots of wireless services,” describes France telecom’s Marion Duprez, who heads WWI’s Cross-issue Validation Team. “The technology underpinning all this is very complex and sophisticated, but this does not matter to Bob.”
Threads in an intricate web
Although they do not concern Bob, these platforms and how they relate to one another matter greatly to WWI. Each of the initiative’s four projects focused on a particular technical challenge that needs to be overcome in order to enable mobile technology to come of age. At the same time, the projects worked closely together to ensure that their platforms and systems fit seamlessly together. This is what the WWI calls ‘transparent seamless mobility through distributed architecture’.
“Our team was in charge of creating the scenarios to show that the four projects could work together to provide integrated services,” explains Duprez in the demonstration area of WWI’s final conference, which took place in Brussels on 13 November 2007. “Creating this end-to-end system was a real challenge. It required a lot of brainstorming, coordination and experimentation.”
But, as the Brussels demonstrations amply illustrated, they pulled it off. “It has been very valuable to have this co-operation between telecom operators, manufacturers and universities. Commission support was also invaluable in ensuring that the projects were well-lead and coordinated,” noted Duprez.
Both industry and operators are already showing signs of interest. “At France Telecom, we have invested a lot of effort into these systems as part of our commitment to offer new services to our customers,” Duprez stressed.
A new batch of WWI projects, which aim to continue the good work will, be funded under the current FP7 (2007-2013).
Christian Nielsen | alfa
Study suggests buried Internet infrastructure at risk as sea levels rise
18.07.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison
Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers
17.07.2018 | University of Colorado at Boulder
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
18.07.2018 | Life Sciences
18.07.2018 | Life Sciences
18.07.2018 | Information Technology