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The end of the cable?

23rd January 2012
Philip Ross

It seemed so implausible 17 years ago when I published the Cordless Office Report. Back in 1994, people had never heard of wireless technology, or if they had they were worried about speed, reliability and security. The office world was obsessed with structured cabling and the networked PC.  The talk was of cable managed systems furniture, of raised floor and intelligent buildings. Mobile phones were for the few.

Now the cable is dead, at least for voice and most data.  People are used to wireless technology – indeed they rely on it; the iPad has no Ethernet port!  And smart phones, tablets and new ultranotbooks synchronise with the cloud over wireless.  The fears over performance, speed and security are now largely gone and people have embraced the flexibility and mobility that wireless technology brings.

Applications and data from the cloud will just work in the background – unconscious synchronicity will become the new normal, and a wireless ‘bearer’ will just work behind the scenes to keep everything up to date.

But 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth are not the full story. A range of new wireless technologies are set to enter stage, from wireless display or WiDi to 4G LTE or long term evolution.  Add to this Zigbee, Z-Wave, Ultrawide Band, Near Field Communication, RFID, WiMAX, WiGig and more and an exciting future is in store.  We predict that most innanimate objects will soon have embedded wireless which, with a unique address, will let them communicate with each other over the internet – so called machine-to-machine or M2M communication.

And now the last bastion of cordless technology, wireless power, is set to become a reality as well.  A new global specification called Qi (pronounced “chee”) has been launched – Qi means “vital energy” in Asian philosophy – and there are already products emerging that can power devices from kitchen blenders, mobile phones, handbags and even cars without any physical connection.

The future is wireless…

Find out more at our upcoming briefings at

In wireless

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