For this weeks Guest Post Friday here at Construction Law Musings we welcome Mike Hines. Mike is co-founder and CEO of HomePath Products LLC. He and his Connecticut-based team have developed the eXapath™ in-wall cable pathway system. Building for the foreseeable future, this smart product is integrated within traditional building systems, allowing for the efficient upgrade of low voltage wiring without disruption to the building’s insulation envelope.
Incredible really…the world of communication evolves before our eyes from monolith to keyword-based ubiquity and choice…freedom unfathomable even ten years ago. Perhaps more amazing is the effortless way in which this stealthy revolution occurs. While nuzzling our iPhones or Blackberries, some may vividly recall the ten pound “bag phone” that first untethered us through basic analog wireless voice service…we’ve come far in a relatively short time.
I’m a technology junkie. I value efficiency and personal productivity and have a fascination for history. To know me, picture a curious squirrel leaping from branch to ground and back, gathering acorns in my travels, devouring some, discarding others, hoarding many and carefully storing those that bear future investigation. Data, information, knowledge…kernels just waiting to be organized, combined, sewn and then sown.
The world wide web…specifically Web 2.0, a global gathering grounded in interoperability and interaction rather than one-way broadcast. A place where everyone has a voice should they desire. So all-encompassing it is impractical to describe in a short post but the mechanics behind Web 2.0 are intriguing. Please pardon the oversimplification…it comes down to personal creativity and desire to share enabled by processing power, digital storage, and bandwidth. A torrent of creativity unleashed principally by technology…with incomprehensible reach.
Gridlock rages across the planet that is directly linked to the internet we’ve come to know and rely on. The struggle is about bandwidth…over the transmission capacity of the internet, between people, neighborhoods, cities, countries and continents alike.
We’ve all had the experience of bottleneck…sitting in traffic, frustrated by a choke-point from two lanes to one, sun glaring directly through the windshield, late again, progress stalled. It might interest you to know that the data we send when communicating through the web is analogous. Web speeds are expressed as bits per second (bps) rather than miles or kilometers per hour and the traffic statistics bandied about are staggering.
Perspective…hark back to a recent time when digital cameras touting low resolution (small data file size) were an expensive luxury item. Do you recall the magic of receiving your first digital image by email? Miraculous!
Fast forward to now when digital cameras are pervasive, almost free, and always high resolution. Reasonably priced amateur cameras today boast image file sizes ten to twenty times greater than those from just ten years ago. Sending and receiving high quality images has become so routine that the time consumed to transfer files is now a source of frustration. Bottleneck.
Consider transmitting HD video, BluRay files…and next generation 3D HD video. What consumes hours today will take mere seconds soon.
As more users join the world wide web and better, faster, cheaper electronic gadgets join the fray, exponential growth in content is natural. This massive data injection surging about the world stresses existing telecommunications infrastructure the way an overabundance of vehicles clog highways built for needs predicted decades ago.
At present the most limiting bottlenecks occur between your home and transmitting sites – called head-ends for cable ISP’s and central offices for those using Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) or Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) internet. The bottlenecks are resolved by deployment of various high speed transmission equipment and followed by service improvements manifested through “high speed internet” offers from your local provider. To gain perspective on the build-out…click on this link and enjoy The Exaflood. As the service providers resolve the logjam between themselves and the homeowner…the bottleneck itself will quietly flow from outside to within the home. For a more recent snapshot of trends in electronic gadgetry and the superhighways they’ll use have a look here.
People. Without people convergence is unnecessary. We animate the tools that provide an efficient vehicle for collaboration, synergy, and ultimately social progress.
While scurrying around the web a great example of convergence, symbiosis and synergy emerged through a series of loosely connected blogs. The individuals behind the posts are wielding technology to converge around the notion of sustainability. The web and its supporting technology provide habitat and participants benefit through a growing body of relevant and pragmatic content…symbioses of sorts. (The blogs I refer to include Musings among others. They are most easily be found through their Twitter personas including @constructionlaw, @build2sustain, @vaconstruction, and @aribra with many others contributing to meaningful dialogue.)
From the viewpoint of technology it is interesting to see the discourse spread beyond written language, effortlessly sharing content through images, audio, video and regular linking with additional web-based contributors. Consider the bandwidth consumed in the process of sharing this information…what was unimaginable just a few short years ago is now taken for granted.
Of particular interest is where the creation and discovery of this portal to sustainability occurs. It happens within and between offices, mobile phones, cafes, airport hotspots, hotel rooms and home offices alike. Web sites, blog posts, podcasts, presentations, tele-meetings. Creativity and collaboration unraveling with reach and affect for many…the sum of the easily accessible parts extending well beyond the direct contributors. Synergy…resulting from leveraged technology, creativity and exchange. The new freedom.