RealTime IT News

Wi-Fi Stays in Kodak's Picture

A host of technology providers is hoping to cash in on the burgeoning wireless consumer electronics market this week.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the likes of Microsoft , HP , Intel , Broadcom and Cisco's Linksys are rolling out products and making partnerships aimed at providing consumers with the same wireless LAN advantages that small businesses enjoy.

Many of the products incorporate combinations of 802.11a, b and g technologies. Linksys and Belkin are even offering some "pre-n" products, so-called because MIMO (Multiple In, Multiple Out) is expected to be a major factor in the future high-speed standard called 802.11n. The technology is expected to offer three times the range and eight times the throughput of 802.11a, b and g; but the "n" standard is not expected to be finalized for a couple of years.

Among the other notable announcements this week, Kodak introduced its first digital camera with a Wi-Fi card for picture transfers to the PC or printer. The Kodak EasyShare-One ($600) has an optional Wi-Fi card ($100). The camera comes with a limited free-access contract to any T-Mobile Hotspot, and customers can upload photos to the Kodak EasyShare Gallery Web site (formerly known as Ofoto).

Motorola's new wireless Home Monitoring System includes a wireless siren, video controller and garage door controller.

Broadcom, HP and Linksys are promoting their SecureEasySetup technology. The jointly developed project lets customers set up wireless networks and activate Wi-Fi Protected Access security by simply pushing a button. Broadcom SecureEasySetup software and 54g chipsets are powering the push-button technology. Linksys and HP said they plan to offer the first Wi-Fi products this year.

Ultrawideband (UWB), the high-speed wireless technology, is also on display this week. Companies like Asus, D-Link, HP, NEC and Texas Instruments are scheduled to demonstrate a new development kit in various forms. UWB chipset manufacturer Wisair is highlighting the technology as part of this week's Multi-Band OFDM Alliance (MBOA) presentation.