Mobile Networking in a Shake

Loraine Lawson

When I was just starting out in technology journalism with TechRepublic, my boss sent me to a computer networking class. This was a real class for people seeking certification and I briefly thought, "Hey, maybe I'll just go do this."

 

To understand how funny that is, you'd have to see me do something mechanically complex, like untangle a necklace or unscrew a spaghetti jar. I can understand what needs to be done - but I am not particularly patient or gentle with anything that requires me to use my hands. Hence, I don't knit, paint or build networks.

 

But I think the technology has finally evolved to the point where it capitalizes on my core mechanical skill, which is, of course, shaking things.

 

Researchers in the UK have developed and demonstrated a protocol that establishes a connection between cell phones by shaking them close together. Quoth developer Rene Mayrhofer of Lancaster University:

From the user point of view, it just provides a natural way to pair devices.

No kidding.

 


The devices use accelerometers and could be used as a means of networking other gadgets. While it's easier than the current method of connecting mobile devices, the researchers say it's still difficult enough that it doesn't pose a security risk.

 

The New Scientist article includes a link to a video demonstration available on YouTube. It demonstrates a connection made by shaking two phones together in one hand. When you use two hands - or have two different people shaking the phones - it won't make a connection.

 

Looks like I've found my second calling - if you'll excuse the pun.



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