Mesh Devices Get Smaller To Increase Wireless Reach

An associate professor and a team of researchers at the Graduate School of Information Science and Electrical Engineering at Kyushu University in Japan have developed a prototype of a "micromini" wireless mesh station, under the MIMO-Mesh project. The technology, which is small enough to fit on a person's palm, acts as an access point to increase the reach of wireless networks without the need for additional infrastructure.

MIMO, which stands for multi-input multi-output, is a wireless communications technology that uses multiple antennas to send and receive data and improve the transmission speed.

The "picoMesh LunchBox" micromini wireless mesh station, developed by Hiroshi Furukawa, establishes wireless multihop networks between stations automatically and expands the wireless LAN's communications areas upon installation. The device enables development of a large-scale wireless multihop network. It has a built-in antenna , is battery-powered and requires no wiring. The idea behind the picoMesh is to reduce the cost of system construction.

Based on the results of the latest development, the team will work on taking its technology into production. The project was partly supported by a government grant implemented by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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