Wi-Fi Next Target: Cars- Look Out 3G!

The Appetizer

Wi-Fi in automotive vehicles is not anything new.  It is slowly being launched in major vehicles that carry large amounts of people over the last few years including airplanes, trains, and buses.  3G devices were a major push this past year for automotive-type internet connections through cell phone service providers via data plans, and using that connection, a vehicle owner could expand that 3G signal to provide 3G wireless access in their vehicle.  Ford Motor Co. announced something slightly different that they will begin rolling out in their vehicles called the Sync Wi-Fi system.  This is exactly what it says– it uses Wi-Fi for the wireless connection.  The catch is that users will have to provide their own modem and connect it via USB in order to get onto the internet.  Their approach is flexible, thus allowing users to upgrade to higher speeds since they will be providing their own modems.  Ford also stated that thanks to the design of their system, it will be cheaper than similar systems that must be installed/purchased after owning the vehicle.

The Main Course

The Dessert

Wi-Fi is on a roll.  Not only are they challenging the Bluetooth market with its Wi-Fi Direct, this new push would now have them going after the 3G (and soon 4G) market, which would in turn, have a major effect on these very expensive investments that cell phone providers such as ATT and Verizon have spent millions in developing for their data networks.  It begs the same question that the Bluetooth vs Wi-fi Direct does– why use 2 separate signals/technologies when you can just use one and be connected to everything?  The other important aspect of this is the fact that Ford is working towards making this a standard.  While it is not specified what models, the fact that the article mentions that both BMW and Chrysler are pushing forward towards Wi-Fi intiatives in their vehicles as well further suggest that Wi-Fi is slowly becoming a standard feature in automotive vehicles.  But again, there is a bigger picture than this.  Years ago, when the concept of the internet, and specifically Wi-fi really picked up, one of the main ‘goals’ that was constantly mentioned was allowing for people to stay online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week no matter where they are.  Due to technological limitations, and expense, that reality has gotten closer thanks to wireless technologies such as 3G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, but has yet to hit the point where it is one steady connection at all times regardless of where a person is at (for instance, yes you may be able to get online in your car via 3G and then leave and go to Wi-Fi signal, but that would require you to connect/reconnect, not including the difference in speeds b/w services).  If a person was hypothetically able to have 2-3 preferred wireless networks over one system, in this case Wi-Fi– one at work, the car, and at home respectively, so that they would not have to turn a particular wireless connection on/off as they moved from one location to the next– regardless of where they are in a country, then that would enable a person, hypthetically, to stay online all the time, whether in commute or on foot or standing still.  This, in turn, opens up another set of additional possibilities in terms of communication and interactive possibilities that once were not possible.  It could also mean Wi-Fi could have a monopoly over the wireless market as we know it in the not so far future.

The Overall Meal

5 Stars!

The Doggybag

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