OK, there’s cool inventions and emerging technology and then there’s just plain weird and freaky, and scientists from Belfast have just about managed to cross the line from one into the other but it’s kind of difficult to tell exactly which way they headed over the line and whether they’re cool or weird.
In all honesty, the idea of members of the public becoming network nodes isn’t as odd as it sounds. There’s not even the slightest suggestion of microchips being injected under the skin, which has to be a good thing because can you imagine the health scares associated with that? They’d make the whole mobile phone radiation scare seem like a mild cold.
Mild sensors could be placed in items like smartphones though. The nodes could then communicate with one another and with other nodes found in surrounding areas in order to create what would basically be a body to body network.
Dr Simon Cotton of Queen’s University Belfast’s Institute of Electronics has been awarded a five year research fellowship to continue looking into this potential breakthrough. Initially this means ascertaining the viability of the science but it also means highlighting some of the potential uses.
One of the benefits would be that the network could be used to carry mobile phone traffic. High population density areas would have less demand for base stations and they have considerably lower power usage too.
The technology is expected to rocket in popularity in the coming years and the team behind this latest research will be working with various bodies, institutes and individuals in order to create a viable and workable, long term, scalable solution.