Wireless Grids: Distributed Resource Sharing

IEEE Internet Computing: Wireless Grids: Distributed Resource Sharing

"Wireless grids, a new type of resource-sharing network, connect sensors, mobile phones, and other edge devices with each other and with wired grids. Ad hoc distributed resource sharing allows these devices to offer new resources and locations of use for grid computing.

Grid computing lets devices connected to the Internet, overlay peer-to-peer networks, and the nascent wired computational grid dynamically share network-connected resources. The wireless grid extends this sharing potential to mobile, nomadic, or fixed-location devices temporarily connected via ad hoc wireless networks.

Devices on the wireless grid will be not only mobile but nomadic—shifting across institutional boundaries. Just as real-world nomads cross institutional boundaries and frequently move from one location to another, so do wireless devices.

Wireless devices bring new resources to distributed computing. In addition to typical computational resources such as processor power, disk space, and applications, wireless devices increasingly employ cameras, microphones, GPS receivers, and accelerometers, as well as an assortment of network interfaces (cell, radio, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth). One important class of devices is sensors, which can supply information on temperature, health, or pollution levels, to name just a few.

The emergence of wireless grids parallels the historical trend that has seen computing shift from a hierarchical structure—in which computing was an organizationally controlled activity—to a situation in which the only guarantee is that individual users will follow their strategic interests...To reach commercial markets and end users, designers of P2P networks and wireless grids must learn to leverage strategic trends toward mobility and nomadicity."


This is easily one of the best and most interesting articles I've come across while writing MVIS Blog. If you think of every mobile phone and PDA as a 'node on the grid' you can start to really visualize the formation of the successor to the current Internet. Billions of travelling 'nodes' relaying their unique information back to the grid (present location, moving/stationary, current ambient conditions) and fetching new information from the grid as needed (information maps related to current position, rendering of location-specific virtual objects -- i.e. virtual tour guides, etc).

What does this have to do with Microvision? Everything. Because out in the world, having the sunlight make your backlit LCD screen become illegible is simply unacceptable. Advanced portable visualization technologies are going to be required to bring wireless grid applications into reality. Getting stock quotes on your cell phone with its postage stamp sized screen is not what this is about. The term that best describes what we're heading towards is an 'information overlay' on the regular outside world. Where the Zagat ratings, price range and expected wait time for a table floats in front of the front door of every restaurant you pass as you walk by.  Microvision's unique capability to merge digital images with your regular field of view makes it the only company with the technology that can enable this scenario.


The grid will do the computations required to render context-sensitive augmented reality, including virtual tour guides or assistants. It will stream the information needed to maintain both your information overlay and your virtual companions to your personal device as you walk around city streets or hike in the woods. Your personal device will relay back to the grid information required to maintain the current context -- so your virtual companions stop walking when you're ready to take a breather -- and don't ask you questions when you're talking to somebody.


All these scenarios seem far out and futuristic, and they are -- but the high-tech future is bearing down on us fast. Something to consider in light of the way the Nasdaq has been tanking and taking MVIS with it -- down to around $150M market cap.


With a revolutionary technology that uniquely meets the needs for the next generation of portable information displays, 5.5M shares of Lumera in the company coffers, and the first volume orders for scanned beam display products to be announced at any time, this is a unique moment in time -- to say the least.