Wireless technology, from cell phones to business networks is revolutionizing the world we live in. Now we can access the Internet while in our cars, on the beach, and even at dinner. This wave of technology will soon be felt in full force as we begin to travel with the assistance of a computer, run businesses with high quality networks, and check last nights game on our digital phones and personal digital assistants (PDA). Advancements made by wireless technology are allowing us greater degrees of freedom, security, and efficiency.
Cars are feeling the wave of wireless technology as we speak. General Motors Corp.s navigation systems subsidiary, OnStar Communications, will provide drivers voice access to the Internet, starting with 30 of its 2001 models. The OnStar service provides airbag deployment notification, remote door unlocking, location services, stolen-vehicle tracking, and remote diagnostics (Wallace). It is easy to see why this technology is sought after, authorities will arrive on the seen faster, thieves will be detoured, and locking ones keys in the car wont incorporate the vandalistic approach once used. Also it is figured that 50-80% of all cellular phone calls are made from vehicles, with this new technology voice activated technology, users can expect to have both hands free while talking. With the new services, drivers will set up profiles from their desktop PC that are then kept on servers in OnStars service centers. With a hands free, voice-activated interface, OnStar subscribers will use voice prompts, such as Start my E-mail or Start my stock quotes to receive information via the Internet. The service will convert Internet text to speech and read the information via synthesizes voice (Wallace). And if that isnt enough, the price ranges from $199 to $399 a year, a great buy, as it will cut ones insurance bill down to size.
Trucking companies are also using wireless connections to the Internet. Wireless Internet access is just fine with ePaccar, a division of truck maker Paccar Inc. in Mt Vernon, Wash. The unit is building a package that will let truck drivers access more than weather and directions using a wireless Windows CE device in their cabs. The commercial transportation industry is working on razor-thin profit margins and is fiercely competitive, so the ability to provide the fastest and most fuel-efficient route saves truckers time and money. And providing them with wireless access to load-brokering sites lets them pick up more cargo and make more money without deviating much from their original route (Wallace, Wireless Everything). This technology will revolutionize the way trucking, and driving is done. Getting lost would become a thing of the past, so would getting stuck in bad weather. The possibilities are virtually endless.
Wireless hotels are also on the rise; they have several uses of wireless technology, from basic Internet access to transferring an important call to the closest phone. Comdial has a product called Tracker, which is ideal for typical hotel and motel environments. This is a paging service integrated with our Impact Concierge hotel communications system. With Tracker, any employee can be sent a message from the switchboard. Our latest enhancement is Quiktrak. This allows operators to scroll Tracker users from a PC screen to send them messages or alert them to a held call. Since the pagers have LCDs with scrolling, detailed messages can be typed from the PC and sent to any or all pager users. If an important call has arrived, the call can be parked at any system telephone and retrieved by dialing a code. The code is automatically displayed on the pager screen (Adams). This isnt the only advancement they are making though, a growing number of hotels now offer T-1 connections to the internet, as a growing number of business people need to stay connected to the office all the time. In a few cases they have gone a step further, now offering wireless connections to the Internet. This allows the guest to work while killing time in the lobby, or while eating breakfast (Kahaner).
There are also advances in wireless local access networks (LANs). These networks are now offering high-speed performance, with the additional benefit of not having to wire the building. This means