*This Editor’s Note will appear in the September/October Edition of WDD.
I realized, as I huddled for warmth in my hoodie on this cloudy, sixty-degree day in New Jersey, that summer is indeed behind us. And while I’m tempted to bemoan that fact each time I spy an orange leaf on the ground, I’m trying to stay positive. Fall’s not so bad: there’s pumpkin-picking, apple pie, and—what perhaps makes this season tolerable at all for the majority of Americans—football.
That being said, this weekend I’ll be road-tripping to Columbus to watch my first (live) college football game at Ohio State University. Friends who have already been there done that tell me I’m in for a treat: besides watching near-pro athletes tackle each other over a pigskin, there’s the famous marching band to marvel at—along with the venue itself, a stadium that packs a whopping 108,000+ fans. (For reference, Giants Stadium only holds 80,000.)
108,000 people. That means 108,000 (or close) smartphones texting, snapping selfies, and Tweeting. The Internet will be in high-demand, as tens of thousands of people will be transmitting large amount of data simultaneously.
And that, I believe, is where the future of wireless technology is headed: how can we get our smart devices to do more, and how do we design the infrastructure to support that?
This issue highlights two ongoing technologies that demonstrate design engineers’ quest for “more”-ness. On page 8, you’ll read about wireless mesh networks, which are being used to support the rising numbers of connected devices in a range of applications, from manufacturing to the military. And on page 10, you’ll read about how the automotive industry is customizing vehicles in order to address consumers’ ever-climbing expectations for human-machine interfaces.
Whether it’s our cars connecting to the cloud, or our phones connecting to Instagram in a massive football stadium, engineers are discovering innovative ways to keep more people connected in a world where connection is everything.
May this issue leave you wanting more.
Until next time.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)