GPS-based devices â€” primarily in a watch form â€” are available that can
track people. The Wherify Watch, shown in Figure 19-2, is a great device that
allows you to track children and the elderly (such as Alzheimerâ€™s patients)
who might wander off. The caretaker can then go to a Web site, view a map
showing the wearerâ€™s location, and easily find the wanderer.
Chapter 19: More Than Ten Devices . . .
You can actually replay the signals received from the device over a period of
time â€” sort of like a Family Circus cartoon showing the path of the little kid
bopping around town. Watches are pricey, running about $300â€“$400 apiece
plus monthly monitoring fees of $10â€“$50.
Check out companies like Wherify (www.wherify.com) and Applied Digital
Solutions (www.digitalangel.net) for their products. Applied Digital has
developed VeriChip (www.adsx.com/prodservpart/verichip.html) that
can be implanted under the skin for people in high-risk (think kidnapping)
areas overseas. This chip is an implantable, 12 mm x 2.1 mm radio frequency
device, about the size of the point of a ballpoint pen. It contains a unique ver-
Although watches are a great form factor for lots of wireless connectivity
opportunities, they have been hampered by either wired interface require-
ments (like a USB connection) or an infrared (IR) connection (which requires
line-of-sight to a specific on-ramp). Expect these same devices to very quickly
take on Bluetooth and 802.11 interfaces so that constant updating â€” like
with the Microsoft Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) model
(www.microsoft.com/SPOT/) â€” can occur. Watches are also popular for
336 Part V: The Part of Tens
Taking pictures: The Casio (www.casio.com) WQV10D-2 Color Wrist
Camera watch with color liquid crystal display (LCD) lets you snap up to
100 images in JPEG format. A 2X digital zoom enables you to get closer to
your subjects, and IR transfer enables you to share your pictures with
other Casio wrist cameras and your PC. An RF option is surely on the way.
Looking up phone numbers: The Casio BZX201SCR PC Unite Watch is
equipped with infrared capabilities, plus enhanced PC synchronization
functions. In addition to being able to exchange personal information
manager data with a computer, the PC Unite also can link with Microsoft
Outlook and even exchange data with a portable terminal such as a PDA.
Creating wireless connectivity via jewelry bears its own set of issues because
of the size and weight requirements of the host jewelry for any wireless
system. The smaller the jewelry, the less power that the wireless transmitter
can have to do its job. The less power, the shorter the range, and so the more
limited the bandwidth and application of the device.
Top Ten Sources for More
In This Chapter
Shopping on CNET
Blogging for 802.11
Practically (wireless) networking
Surfing the vendor sites
W eâ€™ve tried hard in this book to capture all thatâ€™s happening with wire-
less networks in the home. However, we canâ€™t cover everything in one
book, and so, in fairness to other publications, weâ€™re leaving some things for
them to talk about on their Web sites and in their print publications. (Nice of
us, isnâ€™t it?)
We want to keep you informed of the latest changes to whatâ€™s in this book. So
we encourage you to check out the Wireless Home Networking For Dummies
update site at www.dummies.com/extras â€” where you can find updates and
Hereâ€™s a listing of those publications that we read regularly (and therefore
recommend unabashedly) and which you should get your hands on as part of
your home wireless networking project. Many of these sources provide up-to-
date performance information, which can be critical when making a decision
about which equipment to buy and what standards to pursue.
The Web sites mentioned also have a ton of information online, but you might
have to try different search keywords to find what youâ€™re looking for. Some
publications like to use the term Wi-Fi, for instance, while others use 802.11.
If you donâ€™t get hits on certain terms when youâ€™re searching around, try other
ones that you know. Itâ€™s rare to come up empty on a search about wireless
networking these days. All sites listed here are free.
338 Part V: The Part of Tens
CNET.com (www.cnet.com) is a simple-to-use, free Web site where you can do
apples-to-apples comparisons of wireless equipment. You can count on find-
ing pictures of what youâ€™re buying, editor ratings of the equipment, user rat-
ings of the gear, reviews of most devices, and a listing of the places on the
Web where you can buy it all â€” along with the actual pricing. Whatâ€™s great
about CNET is that it covers the wireless networking aspect of Wi-Fi as well
as the consumer goods portion of Wi-Fi (such as home theater, A/V gear,
phones, and so on). You can count on being able to find all sorts of products
and ideas in one place. Itâ€™s your one-stop resource for evaluating your future
home wireless purchases.
What we especially like is the ability to do a side-by-side comparison so that
we can see whoâ€™s got which features. You can go to the Wi-Fi portion of the
site and see available gear from major manufacturers. By clicking the boxes
next to each name, you can select that gear for comparison shopping. You
can also filter the results by price, features, support, and so on at the bottom
of the page. Then just click Compare to receive a results page.
Overall, this is a solid site that we often visit before buying anything.
802.11 Planet (www.80211planet.com) is a great resource for keeping up
with industry news as well as getting reviews of access points, client devices,
security tools, and software. Look for the tutorial section where you can find
articles such as Understanding Internal 802.11 Card Form Factors and
Extending WLAN Range with Repeaters.
One of the great parts of 802.11 Planet is its forum where you can ask ques-
tions to the collective readership and get answers. (You can ask a question,
and the system will e-mail you with any responses â€” very nice.) The forum
has sections on General, Security, Troubleshooting, Interoperability and
Standards, Hardware, and Applications. The discussions are tolerant of begin-
ners but can get quite sophisticated in their responses. All in all, this is a
great site for info.
Broadband Wireless Exchange Magazine
The Broadband Wireless Exchange Magazine (www.bbwexchange.com) is a
rapidly growing Web site dedicated to all things wireless, including coverage
of lots of emerging products and services coming down the road. The site is a
Chapter 20: Top Ten Sources for More Information
parent site for many sites-within-a-site. It started out covering fixed wireless
topics for telephone companies and has grown to include all sorts of consumer,
business, and industry content on wireless. If youâ€™re interested in just 802.11
products and services, the www.80211-news.com page is a good one for that,
as are the firmâ€™s other sites on all aspects of wireless technologies. On any par-
ticular subsite, youâ€™ll find lots of information about industry news, new product
announcements, buyerâ€™s guides, directories, article listings, and so forth.
This site is adding content and new capabilities daily, so itâ€™s hard to summa-
rize in one paragraph. Suffice it to say that by the time you read this, it will
probably have tripled in size. Definitely check it out.
This site (80211b.weblogger.com) is a great site for finding out whatâ€™s going
on in the wireless world. You might have heard about Weblogs: Theyâ€™re link-
running, rambling commentaries that people keep online about topics that
are near and dear to their hearts. This is also called blogging.
Unless you want to track the wireless industry, though, you probably would-
nâ€™t want to check this daily, but itâ€™s a great resource for when you want to see
what the latest news is about a particular vendor or technology. This is the
site that we follow every day for interesting news and product or service
Another big strength of this site is its coverage of the OS X/Apple world of
wireless. If you have an Apple computer, do check out this siteâ€™s AirPort
Weblog on how to get the most out of your AirPort Extreme. If youâ€™ve got a
Mac, spend some time checking out their AirPort Forum threads and keep
your eye on this page for the latest AirPort news! You can find a host of con-
tent to support your Apple efforts â€” lots besides just news.
Check out these other Weblogs about wireless topics: Bluetooth (bluetooth.
weblogs.com) and Reiterâ€™s Wireless Data (reiter.weblogger.com) Weblogs
The venerable PC Magazine (www.pcmag.com) is the go-to publication for PC
users. This magazine regularly and religiously tracks all aspects of wireless,
from the individual product reviews to sweeping buyerâ€™s guides across differ-
ent wireless segments to updates on key operating system and supporting soft-
ware changes. If you have a PC, you should be subscribing to this magazine.
340 Part V: The Part of Tens
We really like the First Look sections of the publication, which offer you the
immediate insight on new product announcements, giving you hands-on,
quick reviews of the latest developments on the market. This is great for
those products that youâ€™ve heard were coming but were waiting to actually
be ready. PC Magazine is usually one of the first to review these products.
A one-year subscription (22 issues) runs only $34.97, and a two-year sub-
scription (44 issues) is $59.97. You can subscribe to either electronic or print
issues, which is nice if you want to catch up on your reading on the go but
donâ€™t want to carry a bag of publications.
Electronic House Magazine
Electronic House (www.electronichouse.com) is one of our favorite publica-
tions because you can read a lot of very easy-to-understand articles about all
aspects of an electronic home, including articles on wireless networking and
all the consumer appliances and other non-PC devices that are going wire-
less. Itâ€™s written for the consumer who enjoys technology.
Electronic House magazine includes articles on wireless home networking,
wireless home control, and subsystems such as residential lighting, security,
home theaters, energy management, and telecommunications. It also regu-
larly looks at new and emerging technologies using wireless capabilities, such
as wireless refrigerators and wireless touchpanels, to control your home.
Electronic House is a monthly publication with a 13th issue called the
Planning Guide thatâ€™s available at newsstands. The magazine costs $29.95 a
year. Back issues are $5.95 each or six issues for $30 (plus shipping), so you
can catch up on what youâ€™ve missed (we always love doing that). You defi-
nitely want to subscribe to this one!
Home Automation Magazine
Home Automation magazine (www.homeautomationmag.com) â€” also from
the publishers of Electronic House magazine â€” is a magazine for the do-it-
yourselfer. Itâ€™s geared more to the specific product reviews and discusses
new technologies for the home and how to put them in. Articles show you
how to carry out a range of wireless projects, including how you can add
wireless access to an existing home network, set up a wireless video network,
configure structured wiring, and much more.
The magazine comes out seven times a year and costs $29.95 a year. Back
issues are $5.95 each or six issues for $30 (plus shipping).
Chapter 20: Top Ten Sources for More Information
The www.homeautomationmag.com Web site includes Web-only articles, so
check it out as well. You also find links to the www.ehstore.com shopping
site for books and videos.
Practically Networked (www.practicallynetworked.com) is a free site run
by the folks at Internet.com. It has basic tutorials on networking topics, back-
ground on key technologies, and a troubleshooting guide. The site can con-
tain some dated information in places, but it does have monitored discussion
groups where you can get some good feedback, and the reviews section gives
you a listing of products with a fairly comprehensive buyerâ€™s guide-style list-
ing of features.
Ziff Davis Media has a great site at www.extremetech.com that has special sec-
tions focused on networking and wireless issues. There is heavy traffic at the
discussion groups, and people seem willing to provide quick and knowledge-
able answers. (Youâ€™ll find some seriously educated geeks on these groups.)
Check out the links to wireless articles and reviews by ExtremeTech staff.
The site can be difficult to navigate because the layout is a little confusing.