8 Developing Practical Wireless Applications
In making sense of wireless technology, we have posed positive and negative
questions to ourselves and internally wrangled with the financial, usability, security
and practicality factors. “Just as these facets are unique to a company or user, it is pre-
dicted that, as we become more active in the future of wireless, along with its antici-
pated longevity in the marketplace, financial constraints will diminish; usability will
surely become simpler and adoption will become wider. But let’s not allow this to
become “complacency for complacencys sake,” as we should always take the devil’s
advocate stance. Wireless technology has become an effective communications tool.
Communication is the heart and soul of every business and while we remain con-
nected we continue doing business. It has also enabled us to communicate over great
distances. For instance, families separated by continents remain in contact through
wireless technology, whether it’s wide- or personal-area, or indeed a combination.
Primarily wireless technology is marketed as a tool that promotes mobility, trans-
parency and freedom, enabling users to roam from office, to café or restaurant and
even to the beach. But just a moment! Surely we escape to a restaurant or to the beach
with an aim to banish the constraints of the working day? Although, if you are able to
visit a beach or enjoy a meal with fellow colleagues in a restaurant whilst perusing
some forecasts, then it doesnt seem that bad an idea. Does it?
Summary
Wireless technology has surrounded us for over one hundred years.
Personal-area wireless technologies have entered into certain aspects of our living
and working lives.
The founding concept of wireless conjured up images of a radio set in the corner
of your grandmothers kitchen.
Nowadays, consumers are more aware of new wireless technology and, as such,
have moved away from the traditional notion of wireless.
The influence of wireless depends upon numerous scenarios, coupled with varying
types of exposure and environmental facets.
End-users and companies lean towards certain business models which, in turn,
justify their purchase or non-purchase of wireless-enabled products.
These business models may have an attached financial, practical, usability or security
factor, which is channeled into a decision-making process.
We need to be clear in our own minds why we have and are using wireless technology.
What we are led to believe about wireless technology is based on the concept of
an environment that bestows ease-of-use, seamless operation and transparency.
Companies advocating wireless technology insist that the technology itself is safe
and reliable, and should be deployed in most cases.
There is a striking cost–benefit in implementing wireless, as the availability of
wireless products is now very widespread.
Standards bodies actively assure us that security concerns are a thing of the past.
A driving issue that many manufacturers discuss is that of interoperability.
Configuring some wireless networks can be cumbersome to set-up.
Fundamental factors such as cost form part of the decision-making process.
The cost of setting up a wireless infrastructure is proportional to the size of your
company.
Many manufacturers integrate wireless within their notebooks and desktops.
Companies may choose to purchase a PCCard- or USB-based product to expand
their wireless infrastructure.
Some companies may outsource their implementation and deployment of a wireless
infrastructure.
Outsourcing of this nature should be added to the overall cost.
A significant number of companies have their own internal IT departments where
several administrators may manage the wireless infrastructure.
Ordinary users are also faced with practical usability and user friendliness factors
when deciding to purchase a new product.
As individuals we will have already formulated our own conclusions regarding the
positive or negative aspects of new wireless technology.
The adoption of new wireless technology has inescapably brought about a new
way of thinking.
Are manufacturers creating wireless products unnecessarily?
Developing the right product for the right kind of market will undoubtedly create
a new way of thinking for consumers.
In turn, consumers will become our judge and executioner regarding a wireless
products success or failure.
Undoubtedly, financial constraints will diminish; usability will become simpler
and adoption will become wider.
Communication is the heart and soul of every business and while we remain
connected we continue doing business.
Primarily wireless technology is marketed as a tool that promotes mobility, trans-
parency and freedom, enabling users to roam from office, to café or restaurant and
even to the beach.
Making Sense of Wireless Technology 9
Chapter 1

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