Feeds

Wireless devices to break one-billion barrier in 2011

Tiny ticking time bombs?

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

This year, devices with embedded wireless local area networking (WLAN) capability will top one billion for the first time. By 2015, that number will double – and some people are terrified that their ubiquity will spark an electromagnetic apocalypse.

These figures come from a study published on Friday by IHS iSuppli. According to that research group's projections, worldwide shipments of WLAN-enabled devices will reach 1.2 billion in 2011, up over 35 per cent from 2010's 880.4 billion units. By 2015, IHS iSuppli projects that 2.2 billion of the devices will ship.

"In today's world of connected electronics, consumers expect seamless access to Internet communications, services and content in any place and at any time," said Dr. Jagdish Rebello, the research group's senior director and principal analyst for communications and consumer electronics.

Wireless-penetration projections by IHS iSuppli

Wireless devices poised to conquer the world (source: IHS iSuppli)

The growth in WLAN-enabled devices has been led by cell phones, with 512.8 million units projected to ship this year. Mobile PCs are a distant number two, with 230.1 million set to ship in 2011.

Future WLAN-enabled device growth, however, will be spurred by newer categories of embedded devices. IHS iSuppli contends that automotive installations will lead the growth curve, with a compound annual growth rate of 98.2 per cent from 2010 to 2015. WLAN-enabled televisions will be close behind, with a growth rate of 77.8 per cent during the same period.

While the technorati may welcome this burst of wireless connectivity, other segments of the population aren't so sure that such an increase in wireless communication is safe.

Take, for example, the groundswell of opposition to Califonia utility provider PG&E's efforts to equip its customers with RF-enabled, usage-tracking SmartMeters. These benighted devices have encountered a host of non-WLAN problems, such as exorbitant bills and alleged explosions, but it's their RF-communication ability that has set sensitive teeth on edge in the Golden State.

SmartMeters, according to some PG&E customers, have sparked cases of "electromagnetic hypersensitivity" (EHS), with symptoms ranging from rashes to dizziness to heart palpitations to what the World Health Organization delicately describes as "digestive disturbances".

That same WHO report on EHS, however, concludes that "EHS has no clear diagnostic criteria and there is no scientific basis to link EHS symptoms to EMF exposure."

That reassurance, however, didn't stop the EMF Safety Network from filing a formal complaint with the California Public Utilities Commission, claiming that "Scientific studies show evidence of biological harm from RF exposure, at levels far below the [Federal Communications Commission] safety standard."

It should be noted that SmartMeters emit about one watt of RF, which is less than most cell phones. And, needless to say, few PG&E customers hold their utility meters upside their heads.

Still, with a doubling of WLAN-capable devices by 2015, expect more and louder complaints from folks who claim that their electrical meters, cars, and televisions are out to get them. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?