Feeds

Pocket Wi-Fi sniffers end missing hotspot misery

No need to boot up first

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Reg Kit Watch Road warriors know the frustration: you're in a foreign city and want to find a Wi-Fi access point. Normally that means looking on the Internet for site directories that can tell you where the nearest hotspots are located, such as WiFinder or WiFiMaps. Most of the time, it's trial and error.

Now, there is a much easier solution. US peripherals maker Kensington has introduced a world first: a detector that will locate Wi-Fi networks. No more booting up your notebook to find a Wi-Fi signal.

Image copyright Kensington

The small device detects 802.11b and 802.11g signals from up to 200 feet away and filters out other wireless signals, including cordless phones, microwave ovens and Bluetooth networks. Three lights indicate signal strength. For $29.95 that's seems a bargain.

However, Wi-Fi Finder is not perfect. There is no display information on the owner of the network or whether the hotspot is commercial, free or private; nor is there any information about the level of security provided (WEP or WPA, for example).

Another US company, WiFisense, based in New York City, has a different approach altogether. Its wearable scanner not only detects the networks' signal strength, it will also indicate if they the hotspot is password protected or not. It then uses patterns of light and sound to announce its availability, quality and accessibility.

But it doesn't stop there: the technology can easily fit in any wearable, everyday object: laptop bags, jackets, belts and the like. Currently the WiFisense is a handbag.

"A haaaandbaaaag?" as Lady Bracknell might exclaim.

There are 64 LEDs embedded in the front of the handbag, which light up to acknowledge Wi-Fi presence at various signal strength. If there isn't any Wi-Fi activity in the vicinity, the LEDs look just like some beads on the bag's surface. Isn't that neat? ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.