Magazine article Newsweek

Keeping Up with Wi-Fi: If You Don't Already Have Wireless Internet Access in Your House, You Likely Will Soon. Should You Buy Now or Later?

Magazine article Newsweek

Keeping Up with Wi-Fi: If You Don't Already Have Wireless Internet Access in Your House, You Likely Will Soon. Should You Buy Now or Later?

Article excerpt

Byline: Jason McLure and Jamie Reno

During baseball season, the air at minor-league Raley Field in Sacramento, Calif., is filled with more than fly balls, cheers and the faint aroma of hot dogs and sauerkraut. Streams of data also pervade the stadium, the result of the magic of wireless Internet access, or Wi-Fi. Funded partly by chip giant Intel to show off its technology, the stadium network lets engineers monitor lights and heating from their handheld computers and allows luxury-box owners to check e-mail and surf the Net between innings. By the end of next season, team officials say, new Wi-Fi antennas will be installed all over the park; fans will order hot dogs and check out-of-town scores from the cheap seats; ticket takers will scan tickets with handheld PCs and greet fans by their first names. And the players--well, maybe they won't notice that everyone is suddenly staring at computer screens.

Over the past four years, Wi-Fi, a.k.a. 802.11, has evolved from for-geeks-only status to a feature that's included in most new laptops. Most nontechies know Wi-Fi from the airports, cafes and fast-food chains that offer wireless Net access to lure customers and get them to stay awhile. More recently the Wi-Fi wave has infected homes and businesses like the flu; it's now showing up in the unlikeliest of places, and new versions of the technology will push its adoption further and faster in the next few years. "It's increasingly a wireless world, and Wi-Fi is the technology that's here now and the one you can put under your Christmas tree," says Frank Hanzlik, managing director of the Wi-Fi Alliance, a non-profit that monitors the standard.

A year ago, Wi-Fi "hot spots" were hard to find; now they're getting hard to avoid. At the new Hotel Commonwealth on Boston's Kenmore Square, Wi-Fi blankets the lobby and all the guest rooms. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.