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Communications


— Mobile Technology

Wi-Fi Aware protocol stakes out your surroundings

By - July 21, 2015 1 Picture

Wi-Fi technology has helped bring a world of information to our fingertips via mobile devices, but a new certification program from the Wi-Fi Alliance aims to make the technology a bit more local. The Wi-Fi Aware protocol is designed to extend Wi-Fi's capabilities to improve on current proximity-based functions without the need for cellular, Wi-Fi hotspot or GPS connections.

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— Telecommunications

LED lightbulbs create wireless networks wherever they are installed

By - July 9, 2015 2 Pictures
Various researchers have created ways to transmit wireless information from LED light fittings, to act as a form of enhancement to Wi-Fi based networks known as "Li-Fi." But now engineers at the University of Virginia (U.Va) have come up with a new twist on this theme – they claim to have created an algorithm that makes almost any device fitted with standard visible- light LEDs able to communicate with other equipment with similar LEDs. So, for example, the LED headlights in your car could communicate to the car in front of you through its LED taillights, or the LED display in your clock radio could tell the coffee maker to turn on via its indicator light. Read More
— Space

Scientists look at communicating with hypersonic vehicles using plasma resonance

By - June 18, 2015 1 Picture

Returning spacecraft hit the atmosphere at over five times the speed of sound, generating a sheath of superheated ionized plasma that blocks radio communications during the critical minutes of reentry. It's a problem that's vexed space agencies for decades, but researchers at China's Harbin Institute of Technology are developing a new method of piercing the plasma and maintaining communications.

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Google Tone sings to share with nearby devices

Tools like email and instant messaging have made it easy for us to share information with people around the world. It can still be overly complicated to share something with people in the same room as us though. Google Tone allows users to share URLs with computers that are within earshot.

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— Space

NASA to test atomic clock to keep space missions on time

By - April 30, 2015 3 Pictures
If you thought the Apple watch was something to write home about, take a look at NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC). This miniaturized, ultra-precise mercury-ion atomic clock is described by the space agency as "orders of magnitude more stable than today's best navigational clocks," and is smaller and more accurate than any that's been previously sent into space. In 2016, it will fly on a test mission to demonstrate a technology that NASA sees as key to a number of high-priority Earth-orbit and deep space missions. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

Wearable AWIRE radio delivers quick, accessible two-way communications

By - April 14, 2015 7 Pictures
Mobile phones are great, but they're not ideal for every communications needs. When you're skiing down a mountain, the last thing you want to do is carve to a stop, dig around your triple-layer winterwear for your phone, and answer just to hear your buddy tell you he's waiting in the lodge – which is where you were skiing down to to meet him. The AWIRE wearable two-way radio promises to deliver that type of conversation in mere seconds so you can get on with your life. It also pairs with your smartphone to route calls and music directly to your ears. Read More
— Military

DARPA strengthens lines of communication with digital close air support system test

By - April 10, 2015 3 Pictures
Since the First World War, airplanes have acted as Close Air Support (CAS) for infantry, though it's been a rocky marriage marked by poor communications and difficult teamwork. DARPA's Persistent Close Air Support (PCAS) project aims to improve coordination between air and ground forces by means of a digital system that works up to seven times faster than regular paper maps and voice radio instructions, and with greater accuracy. Read More
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