On this era of connectivity, people hook up on Wi-Fi to connect to social media, work from home, or study via distance learning. Despite its popularity, not everyone knows much about this wireless technology.
Wi-Fi is a wireless networking technology that lets people connect to the Internet through different devices like computers, laptops, smart phones, wearables, printers, video cameras, and other equipment. It creates a network by connecting multiple devices at once and allowing them to exchange information. Once can access the Internet using a wireless router, which lets compatible devices to connect to the Wi-Fi.
10 Fascinating Facts and Inventions about Wi-Fi
Aside from the above basic information, here are some other interesting facts about Wi-Fi.
1. Wi-Fi came from a failed experiment
Australian radio-astronomers Dr. John O'Sullivan, Terence Percival, Diet Ostry, John Deane, and Graham Daniels created the key patent for Wi-Fi, which was a by-product of an unsuccessful experiment for detecting exploding atomic-size black holes as part of their research for Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). In 1996, CSIRO was awarded patent for the technique to reduce the multipath interference on transmitted radio signals used by computer networks.
2. Wi-Fi does not mean anything
In 1997, the first version of the protocols for 802.11 or the radio frequency used to broadcast a Wi-Fi signal was launched, providing allowing up to 2 Mbit/s speed. Like any other product the needs a name, the EEE committee which oversees the Wi-Fi research wanted a catchy name and consulted the marketing firm Interbrand, which came up with the name Wi-Fi. It has no specific meaning, but it was much better than IEEE 802.11.
3. Wi-Fi uses frequency similar to a microwave oven
Wi-Fi transmits 2.4 GHz frequency that is similar to microwave ovens, although the oven cannot be utilized for long-range use since humidity absorbs its signal. Another frequency is available at 5GHz, which is faster, but has shorter range than the slower 2.4GHz. Meanwhile, using microwave over may interfere with the Wi-Fi signal.
4. Marriott paid $600,000 for blocking customer's Wi-Fi
In 2014, the Federal Communications Commission fined the Marriott Hotel $600,000 for blocking personal Wi-Fi connection in an event in Nashville in 2013. The investigation found that the hotel charged customers up to $1,000 to access its wireless network.
5. NGO plans to provide free Wi-worldwide
New York-based non-profit organization MDIF aims to give free Wi-Fi access across the globe from space satellites. Othernet project raises funds to reach impoverished countries and populations where there is no access to the Internet. The project requires $200,000, but as of June 8, 2015, they have raised $628,305.
6. Nikola Tesla statue with Wi-Fi signal
In Silicon Valley, a Nikola Tesla statue, which provides free Wi-Fi access. It is also a time-capsule that will be cracked open in 2043 or 30 years after it was unveiled on Dec. 7, 2013.
7. Woman allergic to Wi-Fi sleeps in copper sleeping bag
A British woman claims to have Wi-Fi allergy spends most of her time in a $500 sleeping bag made of copper and silver to avoid the electromagnetic fields from Wi-Fi and cellphones. She said she is worried that 5G rollout may lead to irreversible damages on her health.
8. Forbes magazine Wi-Fi hotspots
In 2013, selected copies of Forbes magazine's May 6, 2013 issue have Wi-Fi router included in a page insert. These were sent some professionals in technology and business industries.
9. Wi-Fi enabled portable toilet
Back in 2003, Microsoft planned to create a portable toilet with Wi-Fi, called the iLoo. However, it was cancelled because it would not help in promoting the MSN brand. Rumors spread that the project was cancelled because the tech giant fears of getting sued by Andrew Cubitt who had invented another product named "i-Loo."
10. Dog poop for free Wi-Fi access
Back in 2012, an ad agency in Mexico City rolled out a clean-up drive in parks by offering free Wi-Fi to citizens in exchange for dog droppings. People would pick up these droppings and other foul-smelling items in public parks and weigh them to determine the free Wi-Fi that they will receive.
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Written by CJ Robles