One of the challenges we mobile folks face daily is connecting our devices to work together and share data. Sometimes we use wireless Bluetooth connections but with many peripherals, we have to pull a USB cable out of the gadget bag. What a shame that we can’t use the WiFi connection that’s likely already in our computing device, right? And while it’s not too hard to share a WiFi connection with other computers, most folks don’t realize that this functionality is built in to both the Windows and Mac operating systems.
Intel’s looks to be taking advantage of this situation with their new Centrino 2 platform and their WiFi Link 5000 card. With this hardware, you create a wireless PAN, or Personal Area Network over WiFi for your devices. This lets your notebook become a WiFi access point for your other WiFi-enabled devices, but more importantly, lets you quickly share data between those devices. The above video shows a fantastic application of the PAN: snap a picture on a digital camera and it immediately shows up on a PC within the PAN. It reminds me of one of the Microsoft Surface examples using a camera… just without the "surface". [Note: I’m assuming that the camera being used has an EyeFi card, which adds WiFi to cameras with a special SD card.]
This definitely looks like a nice networking solution for file transfers as well since the wireless PAN supports speeds up to 54 Mbps. Wireless printing, media streaming and more looks possible as a native Centrino 2 function… very interesting. I’m thinking that I could share my 3G connection over WiFi with this solution and no additional hardware.