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iPavement embeds WiFi hotspots in the street

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April 26, 2012

iPavement paving stones are installed in existing sidewalks, to provide WiFi access to pas...

iPavement paving stones are installed in existing sidewalks, to provide WiFi access to passers-by

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It seems that a lot of people have been talking about putting things in the road lately. Just within the past few years, we’ve heard about asphalt-embedded parking spot locators, power strips and coils, piezoelectric generators, and heat-harvesting water pipes. Now, a Spanish tech company has developed yet another piece of “street technology,” known as iPavement – sidewalk paving stones that double as WiFi hotspots.

Each stone measures 40 x 40 x 7 centimeters (15.75 x 15.75 x 2.76 in), weighs approximately 24 kilograms (53 lbs), and contains a 5 GB microprocessor that communicates with nearby mobile devices via WiFi and Bluetooth. Power and internet access are supplied to each stone via a hard-wired 1,000-watt cable. In order to ensure continued coverage over a given area, it is recommended that individual stones be installed no more than 20 meters (66 feet) from one another.

iPavement being installed in Spain
iPavement being installed in Spain

Along with providing internet usage to passers-by, however, iPavement also comes with a number of cloud-based apps for them to use while they’re in the area. These include a digital library; maps that promote local restaurants, shops and other attractions; a music service; a coupon catalogue featuring local businesses; a service that provides alerts on hazards and obstructions in the nearby streets; and a Bluetooth service that sends promotional messages to devices. An app is also available that provides statistics on local foot traffic, if the special footstep-registering stones are used.

The apps are available in a number of languages, and the system works with most of the common browsers. One of iPavement’s limitations, however, is its operating temperature range – it will only work between -10 and 45 ºC (14 - 113ºF). That’s fine for the Mediterranean climate of Spain, but could present a challenge for many other parts of the world.

Source: iPavement via Technabob

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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3 Comments

Seems like a difficult, round about way of doing what is being or can be done much easier with surface mounted equipment.

Rt1583
26th April, 2012 @ 11:47 pm PDT

sounded great right up until "a Bluetooth service that sends promotional messages to devices" I doubt many people would enjoy that

jaqen
26th April, 2012 @ 11:48 pm PDT

If your going to spend money taking up and putting back down infrastructure then at least replace the pavements with pezostatic ones that make energy or at the very least power the WiFi chips.

Richardf
27th April, 2012 @ 01:48 pm PDT
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