What's the Latest Development?
A group of French researchers has launched a project, Cormoran, that will investigate ways to create "cooperative ad hoc networks" using individuals' wireless sensors and transmitters as nodes. Each person would represent a relay point through which data could be routed. Such a network could optimize wireless systems by "[aggregating] data from hundreds if not thousands of nearby devices and then [finding] the most efficient link to offload that collective data to the internet at large." In addition, because the network is always changing shape, it could transmit dynamic information about the collection of nodes -- the crowd -- to scientists, city officials, and others.
What's the Big Idea?
Many different forms of wearable technology are expected to hit the market in the coming years. Rather than restrict them to the current point-to-multipoint mobile data transmission model, the researchers believe that they can work with other nearby devices collaboratively. The concept is similar to that proposed for vehicle-to-vehicle wireless communication. However, as always, there's the question of privacy: "Our own notions of [it] suffer if we know every transmitter in a hundred-foot radius is talking to our devices and even helping to carry our personal data back to the cloud."
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