Wireless technology is a blur of confusing acronyms and frequent frustration, but we are making progress and there continues to be hope that more and more wires will disappear in the future.
Wireless Internet connections for our computers are slowly becoming more comprehensible and easier to manage, although the word “wireless” is still used for too many different things. Wireless keyboards and mouses are far more dependable than they used to be, and battery life has been significantly extended.
One company just announced new technology for setting up wireless connections to speakers and headphones. Previous attempts to beam sound across the room have performed badly and this announcement is just a press release, but we can hope for the best.
Another development: IBM announced a plan to develop ultra high speed chips to transmit wireless high-definition video between computers, televisions and handheld devices. One of many hurdles that stops people from hooking the living room into a home computer network is the difficulty of getting video working smoothly over a wireless connection; this might help get past that bottleneck. (Another difficulty is that most people can’t make heads or tails of the technology required; there’s nothing on the horizon to change that, despite a flood of announcements of “media center extenders” and the like.)