The wireless office

The wireless office creates advantages for business

Progress

The pace of development of wireless technologies remains very high. Recently possibilities have significantly improved due to developments in Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies such as 4G internet connections, wireless personal area networks, wireless sensors, and wireless video and audio. The popularity of wireless technologies means there is now a greater diversity than ever of specialist wireless network equipment available for more scenarios from more makers and at a broader range of prices. For most businesses an increasingly wireless office is now an advantage and affordable. For almost all businesses a wireless office is inevitable, with their wired network increasingly supporting data from wireless networks. More types of wireless network with distinct characteristics are being developed and deployed. Eventually multiple kinds of wireless networks will be managed as software defined networks that could share infrastructure with collaborating businesses to build powerful networks that are less geographically and functionally constrained.

Expectation

Increasingly people expect the convenience of wireless technology in their workplace as they experience at home and in leisure environments. The so called 'bring your own device' trend - in which people bring their wireless enabled devices to workplace and other networks - has created new opportunities to leverage sophisticated technology that businesses do not need to buy and evolves quickly to include new features. By granting access to business resources from wireless devices while away from the office smart businesses can increase responsiveness, productivity, and encourage better engagement with their workforce to gain competitive advantages. Some businesses now have a mobile enabled workforce, and more will come to expect it. Soon we will be expecting wireless power to charge our mobile and portable devices. This will allow businesses to get people to linger a little longer in locations where they can raise awareness of their products and services. We will also start to expect the ability to 'throw' our computer desktops, presentations, pictures and movies onto displays to share with colleagues or customers. Eventually we, or our employers, will expect devices swallowed or embedded in us to wirelessly inform us of our health, fitness, and alertness levels.

Collaboration

The progressive wireless office has multiple kinds of wireless network using different technologies with diverse ownership and objectives. Other than the business ostensibly using an office, some of the wireless networks may belong to buildings and infrastructure owners, others may belong to or be used by providers of services such as information technology, facilities maintenance, security, catering, and cleaning. In addition individuals may have wireless personal area networks, and groups may use portable shared networks. At some level all these interacting parties have information and services that through collaboration can advantage each other. This kind of collaborative use of wireless technology will become an important feature of well-run and successful businesses. By collaborating with others we can each gain advantages that would be too expensive for each business alone to afford.

Freedoms

A wireless office can now connect its people wherever they are, whether static or on the move. Essentially the wireless office is not constrained and defined by space and location; it is enabled by its freedoms. More freedoms provide more opportunities that can be exploited for success. Successful businesses will most likely be those that actively look to extend the ways in which people can work creatively.

Power

At least four organisations are now promoting wireless power solutions. The convenience of wireless power combined with improving battery technology means that wireless power will become a feature of the fully wireless office. Eventually power will be transmitted from multiple points that track devices through their fields. Finally wireless power will become so ubiquitous that we will forget the act of putting something on charge. Then proximity of devices will be reserved for initiating more important actions.