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News Story

Airshark - the coolest wireless tech yet?

10th November 2011.

Three University of Wisconsin students have come up with a proposal to make everyone's
wireless lives better. The fantastically-named Airshark is a software program which uses existing hardware to
examine the radio spectrum used by wireless routers (2.4GHz) and pick the best time and frequency variations within that to maximise your wireless signal.

It does this by scanning the wireless frequencies used by routers and checking to see which other home electronics are using those frequencies. It then uses the known radio patterns of those other home gadgets (think cordless phones, baby monitors, Xbox controllers, etc) to avoid them, and picks the timings and channels for your wireless card that best steer clear of those other signals.

You can find the full technical details in their paper here (PDF), and it is not being put into practice anywhere yet. But in our experience the majority of wireless signals are degraded due to interference, and any technology which can reduce or alleviate the symptoms of that and give us more stable wireless signals has to be a win. If one of the router manufacturers, or chipset makers isn't already talking to these students - then they should be.

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