People are so terrified that machines will take over the world. Dreadfully terrified. We have movies about it. Neo. Matrix. Mr. Smith. I hate to break it to you, but none of this is going to happen because our entire wireless communication infrastructure is set up to fail. The problem? Data collision and a lack of signal prioritization.
For the machine apocalypse to happen, they need to be able to communicate. Modern machines have two methods of communication. Either they are plugged into something — with a wire — drastically reducing their mobility. Or they use a wireless network like WiFi, 4G or LTE. If they want to get really close and intimate, bluetooth.
The problem with wireless networks is that they aren’t sustainable. Think about a loud family dinner at Christmas. Everyone is talking at exactly the same time and you, intent on your food, just want some potatoes. Unfortunately the delightful potatoes are on the other side of the table. So what do you do? You ask. Nobody hears you because they’re talking too loud. This is data collision. Later you ask louder. Someone looks at you and holds up their index finger as they finish a conversation. The conversation doesn’t end. You ask again while the rest of your meal gets cold. Not the most effective is it?
Sadly our wireless networks function much the same way. Everything is talking at the same time, and the strongest signal is often the one that is heard first. What determines the strongest signal? Well a variety of factors. There are regulations of course, that say “signals can only be this loud.” This puts all signals attempting the same strength. Billions of devices talking at the same volume, in the same space? Yeah. I’m sure that’s an efficient use of electricity (sarcasm).
Forget the machine apocalypse. We’re not even able to build true smart cities without crippling the network.
We need a wireless standard. Something that makes it possible for signals to be organized and prioritized before they’re sent. The MXC Foundation (yes I work there) is currently working on this. Our amazing development team is leveraging blockchain, and incorporating a utility token to add structure and a level of organization to the transmission of wireless signals. It’s a solid vision, and definitely worth checking out.
After all, it’s about time we give the machines a chance.
Disclaimer: Though I work at MXC and they call me the MXC Guy, any opinions expressed in this article are mine. Each week I make a news update about what’s new at MXC. It’s fun — and you can check out the updates here.
Originally published at www.linkedin.com.