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Telecommunications

The AudioScope microphone dish

Imagine if you were watching television coverage of a football game, where none of the cameras could zoom in. It would be pretty frustrating, just having to go from one wide shot to another, never being able to get a close look at any of the players. That’s pretty much how things are with audio, however. Unless someone has their own microphone, or is within line of sight of a parabolic mic, you’re not going to be hearing them very well. In the near future, however, that may not be the case. Norway’s Squarehead Technology has developed AudioScope, a system that allows users to acoustically “zoom in” on individual people in a large area, and follow them as they move around.  Read More

A mobile phone tower provides 3G broadband access to those without a direct Internet conne...

Accessing the Internet while away from the home or office has never been easier. When there’s no Wi-Fi available users can jump on 3G broadband to get their online fix. And that’s the way it has generally been, with the two main mobile communications technologies acting as complementary services. But with the advent of Wi-Fi based municipal wireless networks some experts say there is a strong possibility that Wi-Fi will compete with the 3G cell phone network in city areas and perhaps even become a substitute.  Read More

Map of unserved housing units per square mile from the FCC report into broadband availabil...

The developed world is fast heading towards a globally networked information economy. Any government that fails to recognize that high-speed Internet access is fundamental to future economic growth and prosperity runs the risk of quickly ending up on the wrong end of a digital divide. While this applies to countries as a whole it also apples to residents within a country, with some spoiled for choice when it comes to broadband access while others in more remotes areas are left wanting. In a bid to ensure broadband access to all people in the U.S., the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set a 4Mbps download target for universal broadband with its National Broadband Plan. The undertaking will cost US$23.5 billion.  Read More

Alcatel-Lucent has boosted the transmission speeds available over existing copper infrastr...

In an ideal world we would all access the Internet over fiber optic cables that reach right up to the front door to deliver blisteringly fast transmission speeds. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world and many of us are forced to rely on aging copper network infrastructure. Now, Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs has demonstrated technology that boosts the transmission speeds over two copper pairs to 100Mbps over a distance of 1km. This could see such infrastructure given a new lease of life, satisfying consumer’s need for speed for some time to come.  Read More

A diagram illustrating how the Cell-All system would work

Our smartphones can already surf the Net, take photos and videos, play games, and even make phone calls, so why not... have them smell the air? That what America’s Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate would like to see happen. The Cell-All initiative would see cell phones equipped with a sensor capable of detecting deadly chemicals. In the event of a terrorist chemical attack, the device could conceivably save numerous lives.  Read More

The KX-NT400 IP business phone from Panasonic features a 5.7in touchscreen interface with ...

Panasonic has launched a new business phone which features a color touchscreen interface, the ability to view live video feeds and even control cameras from the phone itself, an SD card slot for data and programming backup and USB, ethernet and Bluetooth connectivity.  Read More

New technology developed at Purdue University could eliminate wires for communications in ...

In a step that could see communication wires banished from homes and offices researchers have developed a miniature device capable of converting ultra-fast laser pulses into bursts of radio-frequency signals. The advance could enable all communications, from HDTV broadcasts to secure computer connections, to be transmitted from a single base station.  Read More

The Motorola HS1001 in its base station

Some people may find it hard to believe but yes, home phones do still exist. Sure they haven’t undergone the massive technological advances we've seen in mobile phones in the past decade but Motorola is looking to make up some ground with one of the first Android-powered home phones to hit the market - the Motorola HS1001. Running Android v1.6 the cordless handset features a 2.8-inch touchscreen with virtual keypad and allows users to surf the web and check email via a Wi-Fi connection to a home network.  Read More

An artist's conception of how the optical modem could function at a deep ocean cabled obse...

Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV’s) are at the forefront of new discoveries and important research in the ocean depths, but they are still hindered by cumbersome cables that connect them to their support ships at the surface. It brings back memories of the days before radio-controlled toys, when our remote-control cars had wires coming out of them that ran up to the controllers in our hands. Now, thanks to scientists and engineers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), ROV’s may soon be set free from their tethers. The researchers have developed an undersea optical communications system, which they describe as “a virtual revolution in high-speed undersea data collection and transmission.”  Read More

Google is planning to roll-out its own ultra high-speed fiber-to-the-home broadband networ...

Google plans to roll-out an experimental trial of an ultra high-speed 1 gigabit per second (1Gbps) fiber-to-the-home (FFTH) broadband service that is around 100 times faster than most Americans experience today. Google says the service will be delivered to a number of cities or communities – 50,000 to 500,000 residents - somewhere of its choosing in the USA in a effort to investigate new ways of making Internet access better and faster for everyone.  Read More

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