Wireless Grids Software Goes into Beta

A Syracuse University associate professor introduced a new program that gives people a simple way to do file sharing among digital devices. Syracuse University School of Information Studies Associate Professor Lee McKnight debuted Innovaticus during the International Consumer Electronics Show last week. The software lets users set up a grid of devices--computers, cell phones, printers, and even MP3 players--to collaborate and share files and hardware using devices across multiple networks, wired and wireless. Users with access to that grid could drag and drop files from one device to another, whether it was local or around the world.

His company, Wireless Grids Corp., has partnered with the SU School of Information Studies' Wireless Grids Lab and Nokia on research and development. The software "coordinates all available resources and allows them to be accessible from a single device," said McKnight.

This semester, the company will introduce Innovaticus in an arts learning community in one of SU's dorms to find out how students use the software, what kinds of files they share and for what purposes. It said it will also will test out the new software in dorms at the University of West Indies in Trinidad. Lehigh University and Moravian College in Pennsylvania have expressed interest in early adoption of Innovaticus.

According to coverage in The Daily Orange, SU's student newspaper, the user manages his or her "network of devices and can select files and information to be available to other people on that grid."

"This software will change the way we communicate, the way our devices interact, and the way we interact with the digital world around us," McKnight said.

The Post-Standard, a Syracuse newspaper, said that Wireless Grids Lab negotiated with the university for the commercial rights to the technology, for which the school received a 5 percent stake in the company. Intel Corp., France Telecom and New Zealand Telecom have expressed interest in the software.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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