â€œGoogle has met with mobile gear vendors including Motorola and Sony to explore how their devices might be able to take advantage of municipal Wi-Fi networks, an executive of the search company said Thursday.â€?
Question: So what exactly are these Muni Wi-Fi networks, and why is Google so interested in them?
Municipal Wireless Broadband (Wi-Fi Networks) are projects that are funded or supported by cities and towns. They are typically owned by the town / municipality, as opposed to a private sector company like a Cablevision or Comcast. These community-based projects have wireless “access points” placed strategically throughout the entire town on tops of towers, buildings & telephone poles, and the entire region has Internet connectivity. Not like the limited coverage from a Starbucks wireless access point. Yes, this probably means taxes will go up wherever they are adopted.
This means, you could be driving through a city and still be connected to the internet.
Now, think of the advertising opportunities for Google. â€œBy keeping track of which access point a user is connected to, Google will be able to locate users within two blocks for the purposes of sending them advertising for businesses nearby.â€œ When business travelers are driving in the area and looking for a restaurant, they could type a search query for a restaurant and get results in their immediate location.
This is starting to have that sci-fi vibe.
In the not too distant future, maybe all this could be conducted via your cell phone, or your voice recognition software into your laptop. You would see lunch menus, photos of actual menu items, and a short video commercial. Then, you could make the reservation, or order online for immediate pick-up. Kinda like George Jetson. Welcome to the 21st century.