"Mesh networking is about to go mainstream for consumer use."

#Internet

Mon, Mar 24th, 2014 20:00 by capnasty NEWS

On Cult of Mac, Mike Elgan brings to attention a new messaging app called FireChat. While a messaging app is nothing new, the system uses the Multipeer Connectivity Framework found in iOS 7, which allows users to "flexibly use WiFi and Bluetooth peer-to-peer connections to chat and share photos even without an Internet connection."

But here’s the really big deal — it can enable two users to chat not only without an Internet connection, but also when they are far beyond WiFi and Bluetooth range from each other — connected with a chain of peer-to-peer users between one user and a far-away Internet connection.

It’s called wireless mesh networking. And Apple has mainstreamed it in iOS 7. It’s going to change everything. Here’s why.

It can also extend an Internet connect to a place where none exists — for example, to a hotel basement, cave or to rural areas where cell tower connections are non-existent.

It does that through the mesh networking capability inherent in the Multipeer Connectivity Framework. With multiple users in the area, FireChat can relay messages just like the internet does, from node to node (phone to phone).

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