As what caught my attention is a team of researchers with funding from (interesting enough) the Finnish government has managed to develop a technology which could cut the power consumption used by 3G smartphones by up to 74 percent. This in turn would mean the extension of services which would include wireless Internet to millions of people residing in developing countries. Here the system is proxy based and uses a system similar to the workaround employed by Skyfire to be able to run Flash sites on iPhones, (it’s amazing the one “disruptive” act Steve Jobs did in saying no to Flash has brought with it many add on benefits which is amazing) .
The research was performed at Finland’s Aalto University, and the research team presented their results at the Africomm 2011 Conference on Telecommunications Infrastructure in Africa. As here is what is interesting is they designed the system with the needs of Africa in mind, and in fact based their use case testing on data collected from the cellular networks in Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.
As the adoption of broadband wireless Internet in East Africa has been hampered by the power consumption issues in the accessing and downloading of data even while 90 percent of the population in the region lives within the coverage radius of a cellular network. However the problem is one of power as few in this region have access to reliable sources of electricity. This is where increasing the battery life of low-cost wireless devices, the researchers from Aalto theorized, Internet access could be brought to a much larger percentage of the population base in those countries.
The interesting thing about this system is twofold, as system uses a combination of enhanced Web proxy servers coupled with highly optimized communications between the smartphone and the proxy. The important piece of this puzzle is the proxies don’t have to be part of the cellular network, as they can be run in the cloud anywhere in the world, and used by smartphones also anywhere in the world. So what are the two parts to this you be asking yourself?
As the first part of the puzzle is the “cloud” as this is one of the first true signs of a “value” rather than a “cost savings” proposition brought forward by this new paradigm. So no longer is it about just doing the ole for less money, however its now about doing something new. Second as while this is targeted at Africa, its value proposition is also global in abilities, as this would include other impoverished nations as well as the developed world too. As in the later example, just think of how many more devices we can embed this [low power] technology into that we couldn’t in the past.
In short summary, this advancement will allow a significant number of people to join the world wide discussion who were never a part of it before, enabling us as homospaiens to truly become one community with one connected voice…