We are a group of 3 students attempting to convince the administration of our school to let us enable our campus for Wi-Fi. To get funded, we need to identify some applications that can be used over Wi-Fi on a small campus of about 150 students where there are a very few laptops. Can you help?
Wireless and mobile go hand-in-hand, because wireless connectivity is so useful for mobile devices. However, wireless can also be helpful for stationary (fixed position) devices and applications. Here are a few examples:
Wi-Fi can be used to reduce cost and inconvenience associated with cabling, particularly in older buildings, rental properties (like dorms) where structural changes are not feasible, and in open areas (like classrooms) where cables are impractical. According to Webtorials, a single wired LAN drops costs an average of US $150 to install. A wireless LAN card can be purchased for under $50.
Wireless bridging can be used to interconnect physical networks located in separate buildings. For example, many schools use wireless to connect building LANs to each other and to a single Internet uplink shared by all. Wi-Fi is one of several wireless technologies that can be used for network bridging, depending upon environmental conditions and distances to be covered.
Wi-Fi has been successful in markets like manufacturing and retail where ready access to systems can reduce inventory mistakes, duplicated effort and transcription errors. You can find parallels to these applications in educational institutions -- for example, maintaining a book inventory in campus libraries, scanning and checking student IDs at an event against a single student database, and other business applications that help the school run efficiently.
This was last published in October 2004
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