The iPhones (and dongles) we demoed have no software modifications at all, and there is no additional overhead beyond the standard LTE protocol. pCell works with unmodified Android LTE phones, too. (We had wanted to post a lab demo we did of the Galaxy S4 and an Xperia, but we just ran out of time.) Out-of-the-box compatibility is essential for rapid deployment. And, yes, we are meeting many of the core goals of 5G today (e.g. unlimited 4K UltraHD streaming) using Rel. 8 LTE devices in LTE spectrum.
pCell is indeed protocol agnostic, and can concurrently support different protocols in different pCells in the same spectrum. For example, we can support unmodified LTE phones in their own pCells, while concurrently supporting lower cost/lower power devices with far lighter protocols (that are lower latency), since we don't need all of the complexity of LTE. For example, there are no cells, no cell edges (and no need for CoMP), and no cell handoff.
I'm waiting for something to connect the dots and realize this is a vastly more efficient way to use white spaces than anything currently on the table. White spaces will be full overnight with current techniques. With pCell, they will never be full.
More data is coming later. Apologies. We have been utterly overwhelmed in incoming inquiries since launch.
But, I will confirm this: pCell is indeed a much bigger deal than anyone has yet touched on. The "tubes to transistors" analogy is not just marketing speak: Compared to cellular, pCell is far more reliable, enables much smaller and lower power device and can be continually extended in density. Tubes had physical constraints that limited their reliability and scalability. Transistors did not. Cellular (and other interference avoidance protocols like Wi-Fi and cognitive radio) have a physical constraints that limit their reliability and scalability. pCell does not (as far as we know). Cellular has stalled in scalability. There is an entire era of innovation in front of us with pCell. - Steve Perlman
Is pCell an alias of Picocell?
What's the difference between a pCell and a Femtocell with cooperative MIMO and distributed antenna system (DAS)?
"pCell is indeed protocol agnostic" means nothing has been modified in LTE Rx/Tx physical layer or data link layer right? Then does that mean all the inventions are in the antenna system?
Without cellular, how do you handle the dead zone issue, because real time tracking & beaming will be blocked by walls?
I've experimented with similar things in the past, and mainaining coherence for long enough outside the lab is Very Hard, so congrats on doing this.
And it seems we move the bottleneck to the cell backbone. Which could get saturated easily.
Really curious to hear how it's focusing into a 1 cm ball frequencies for which 1/4 wave is significantly larger than that.
Another scary idea: While we could beam wireless power imagine if this was in any way weaponized. With all these stations beaming power to everyone what would it take for an overwhelming number of them to direct it at a target with the purpose of eradicating it? Certainly not a laser in the traditional sense but surely something just as destructive.
The literature seems to indicate that the Russian microwave campaign resulted in no measurable health effect to the employees at the embassy. This is unsurprising because a wide variety of publications detailing similar microwave exposure from modern electronic equipment like cellular towers, phones, and WiFi access points seem to also indicate a negligible widespread health effect.
The Soviets were likely using microwave energy to activate passive listening devices hidden in the US embassy during its construction. ISTR the whole embassy had to be torn down and rebuilt.
Thanks to Snowden, today we know that the NSA refers to this technique as "flooding" and "radar" http://leaksource.info/2013/12/30/nsas-ant-division-catalog-...
The whole "make people sick" thing was likely a cover story to conceal the technique, even though both the US and the Soviets were clearly aware of it.
See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thing_(listening_device)
(I'm tempted to write, "All you would need is an unscrupulous engineer to develop a targeting system ...")
Second, the amount of power to burn a person is many orders of magnitude higher than needed to receive a signal. The transmitters would have to be extraordinarily powerful. I can only see this happening if they plan on making a wireless power transmission service.
Also, a 1cm ball is extremely optimistic, given that LTE frequences have several cm wavelengths. It would also require an enormous number of pCell transmitters to concentrate their transmission into such an area. For communications though, even concentrating into a 20m ball would be a huge improvement over existing technology, so I don't know if there is incentive to place more antennas than required for that.
And how does it compare to the power needed to make a car run? Did you look at the patents in the end?
Have no doubt that we'll increase the frequency untill we can focus it in a few cm sphere. The market will demand that.
In any of the applications where this is deployed broadly, that is, where we cover our cities in transmitters, then we'll have effectively given over this remote kill capability to anyone who can do trilateration.
On a related note, discussing this offline with some friends they pointed out that the pCell system is getting feedback from the phone about its signal strength, and your body wouldn't be giving that feedback, so you would have to have something tied into the pCell on your person (or not move). Your phone could work for that. The question then is how far away from the phone can the energy be localized while the feedback from the phone would still be accurate enough. That I don't know.
And more generally, it seems like relying on coordinating devices you don't physically own opens you up to all sorts of new kinds of DoS attack.
Suddenly you've got a very, very thin phone with infinite battery life and computational power only limited by the server you're hooked up to. It's the perfect mobile device. Do the same thing for a laptop and I'm in paradise.
An extremely thin tablet that's essentially a touch screen connected to your home computer, aimed for use in the home. Tiny battery, very little computational power & storage, hooked up to your own beefy computer.
Edit - intended for use just in the home. I'd want one, certainly.
It allows you to cover a city in cells for insanely cheaper than current cell technology and provide far, far better reception and bandwidth to far larger numbers of customers AND it works with existing LTE gear while also affording simpler, cheaper, and lighter-weight new gear and reducing power consumption across the board. What's not to like?
I don't think anyone who has heard about pCell thinks it isn't a huge deal, if it works.
One example of a major potential problem: how well does it track erratically moving objects (e.g. most cell phones?), in built-up areas with lots of signal reflection?
Maybe the system could apply road map info to fast-moving cell phones which it can assume are in traffic. And this could help it predict possible future locations of your device.
For much of the day the majority of devices in a given "cell" will be semi-immobile at a desk or slowly moving when someone's walking.
If there are multiple plausible positions due to multipath, it probably wouldn’t hurt to create multiple cells for one device.
However, they did overpromise and under-deliver, but it's still very impressive.
Never solve it? It's never released.
Alternatively, it does come out, but its gains are just evolutionary improvements not revolutionary.
A few years?! This statement should give landline data providers, like Cox and Comcast, some serious pause.
In which case those companies just start doing fiber installs to wireless stations, not houses, at roughly the same density.
Only one in energy could surpass it.
But you still need reaction mass, and pure energy doesn't work well for that.
Bio-based applications could include a means to power or recharge implanted devices and machines.
From the moment I heard of it, the first thing I thought about was: this could make long range Wi-Fi possible (and therefore meshnets and carrier disruption possible).
Seeing this tech being used by wireless carriers would be cool, but I really want to see it (or something like it) being used in new mile long Wi-Fi standards. Now the Wi-Fi Alliance only needs to make one for us.
Long range Wi-Fi could also make communication between self-driving cars much more feasible (got your attention now, Google?) - although that presents a pretty huge security risk, too, but I imagine the industry already wanted them to be connected to the Internet, so it wouldn't be much worse.
> Humans use <todo>.
Imagine three boats making waves such that the ripples constructively interfere in some spots and destructively at others.
Higher frequency RF signals are fairly easy (especially V/UHF) to beamform into a tight area, which can compensate for the loss, by focusing your power in one direction instead of radially. You still lose power over distance as the beam's energy spreads.
I don't believe they will just be able to blob a "networked" 60Hz transmission into a 1cm area - I did not read the patent, but you may be able to do such a thing by varying the phase to induce a 60Hz wave via beat frequencies between transmitting signals, at ONLY the specified area.
Having the necessary +-1Hz resolution on a 2.4GHz carrier (especially one that is not using a hardware connected, phase locked oscillator) may prove very difficult if not impossible. I suspect they may try to use one of the lower scientific bands around 900 or less MHz. HF is also a fairly unregulated option, though tight beamforming may still be difficult. Perhaps a smart application of null steering could create the necessary oscillation - I am still working this out in a simulation.
If this method is correct, keeping everything tight enough to be within US electrical standards will be difficult - there are specific regulations related to in-band power, harmonics, frequency tolerances, etc. Regardless of all that, this technology is pretty incredible and I look forward to investigating it further!
Well, yes, and no.
Each beam does "lose" energy compared to the theoretical amount it'd have without interference.
But the power you can transmit into any area inside the cells coverage is nearly constant, and you do not need to put that all extra energy your beans are "losing" into the transmiters, just a tiny part of it (due to errors, delays, object interference, etc).
Of course batteries also have power transmission inefficiencies. My intuition though is that wireless power has potential to be more efficient than batteries for two reasons:
- While building out the infrastructue is an enormous proposition, I'd guess that it is much more sustainable to maintain than batteries.
- When the application is propulsion, not having to carry a fuel source (e.g. battery) is huge. On a Tesla Model S, the battery is more than a third of the weight (450kg of 1235kg, according to Wikipedia).
A system for transmitting power, which I don't think they have built on any scale, you'd probably want to focus a beam towards the receiver with the power loss being proportional to the amount the beam spreads out.
Consider the simple case of a flashlight bulb by itself, versus in the flashlight (with a reflector). They are both inverse square brightness, but the constant factor in the flashlight case is much smaller.
Similarly this will make coherence areas that will be very small. Wasted power will be approximately inverse-square, but the falloff will be small enough that for short distances you can ignore it.
People may find this interesting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space–time_block_code
But different devices with the same results are fair game.
pCell takes a different tact ..seems that the way to get telcomms to move would be through government mandates tied ot say spectrum sales.
its not all that different from having an 802.11n MIMO hotspot in your house.
wireless power is literally a waste.
If you put it that way it's obvious that we're currently Doing It Wrong, provided there's a practical alternative. It also helps people get over their reflexive "But Shannon says…" reaction.