Smailagic's Wi-Fi Research Signals A Hit, Reports *The New York Times*


June 19, 2003

A New York Times article highlights research on context-aware Wi-Fi networks (802.11b wireless local area networks) "that not only track computer users but also adjust what the computers are doing to suit the circumstances." As quoted in the Times:

"Most computers are pretty dumb about the user's state - they have no idea what you need," said Asim Smailagic [Principal Research Scientist, Institute for Complex Engineered Systems]. But a network's location system, he added, could make the computer become "context-aware."

Smailagic developed a system that uses triangulation, which works in three dimensions, to accurately pinpoint a computer's location. Applications of the technology include:

  • A network assigning a worker tasks in a factory and sending them the needed repair manuals based on their position.
  • A doctor retrieving their patient's records as they visit each hospital room.
  • A hand-held signaling its owner's cell-phone to shut off when he enters his boss's office.
  • A hand-held reminding users of their schedule based on where they are.

Many users are already familiar with Wi-Fi networks that let them work in coffee shops or share an Internet connection at home. Smailagic team's next step is to test the widely used Wi-Fi network that covers the entire Carnegie Mellon campus in Pittsburgh.

(Source: The New York Times)

Headshot of Asim Smailagic

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