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Five technologies that will change the face of IT

USB 3.0, 3DTV and other technologies

We look at five technologies that look set to become part of every day lives very soon, to find out how they'll change our lives.

That's where 802.11ad comes in. It abandons the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands of the spectrum (where today's Wi-Fi works) to the newly available 60GHz spectrum.

Because the 60GHz spectrum has an ocean of frequencies available in most countries, you'll be able to use multiple distinct channels to carry more than 1gbps of uncompressed video each.

Unfortunately, the millimeter-long waves that make up 60GHz signals penetrate walls and furniture poorly, and oxygen readily absorbs the waves' energy.

So 802.11ad is best suited for moving data across short distances between devices in the same room.

Apart from supporting fast video transfers, 802.11ad will permit you to move files or sync data between devices at speeds approaching that of USB 3.0 -and 1000 times faster than Bluetooth 2.

The 802.11ad spec is one of three competing ideas for using the 60GHz band of the spectrum.

The Wireless HD trade group, a consortium of consumer electronics firms, is focusing on video use of the 60GHz band, while the Wireless Gigabit Alliance (WiGig) is looking at networking and consumer uses.

Membership in the various groups overlaps, making an interoperable and perhaps unified spec possible.

Though 802.11ad doesn't specifically address video, it will be a generic technology that can accommodate many kinds of data. At a minimum, each group will work to prevent interference with one another's purposes.

The combination of 802.11ac and 802.11ad, coupled with USB 3.0, will allow you to position clusters of computer equipment and entertainment hardware around your home.

USB 3.0 and gigabit ethernet might connect devices located in a cabinet or on a desk; 802.11ac will link clusters across a home; and 802.11ad will carry data to mobile devices, displays, and other gear within a room.

Allen Huotari, the technical leader at Cisco Consumer Products (which now includes Linksys products and ships millions of Wi-Fi and ethernet devices each year) says that the change in home networks won't result from "any one single technology in the home, but rather a pairing of technologies or a trio of technologies - wired and/or wireless - for the backbone and the wireless on the edges".

This means fewer wires and cables, better speeds, and higher-quality video playback than anything possible today. By 2012, both specifications should be readily available.


  1. USB 3.0, 3DTV and other technologies could change the way we live
  2. More on USB 3.0
  3. Video streaming over Wi-Fi
  4. Where 802.11ad comes in
  5. 3D TV
  6. More on 3D TV
  7. 'Augmented Reality' in mobile devices
  8. More on augmented reality
  9. HTML5

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