Friday, September 5, 2008

Nortel Demonstrates Mobile 4G HDTV

I read in the news last week that Nortel Networks has achieved the first high capacity Long Term Evolution(LTE) handoff between cell sites at 100 km/hr (62 mi/hr). During a recent test at a development center in Ottawa, the company was able to maintain a high-definition video stream to a handset while driving in a car and was able to travel between cell sites. The company used Nortel's LTE radio, network gear, and a prototype 4G LG Electronics handset to demonstrate the handoff.

This sounds impressive and bodes well for future broadband services but we don't even have good 3G coverage here in the US (the problems with the iPhone 3G are a prime example), and I am not sure TV services in a car is a good idea with all of the other distractions. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Smart Tires Use RFID for Real Time Monitoring

So I was listening to one of my favorite Tech podcasts from and heard that Pirelli has a new sensor embedded tire called Cyber Tyre that uses RFID for real time monitoring of tire data such as temperature and pressure, vertical load on the tire, dimensions of the footprint, etc. This data is transmitted to the automobile electronic systems and can be used to improve safety and performance by interacting with the ABS and traction control systems. It can quickly communicate blowouts so the car can react faster or under inflation to improve fuel economy.

I have heard of many cool applications for RFID from tracking medical instruments to automated grocery checkout to smart mirrors that tell you what clothes will match the ones you are trying on. It seems like RFID has hundreds of neat applications but most are very slow to take off. Why do you think these implementations are taking so long to be realized?