Wireless data transmission protocols. Oh, that… lovely… technology! I will have to apologise if that got you excited because I will drop that terminology right here. You see, I’m an odd fish at R3 since I neither am a sharp engineer nor poses any academic merits of cutting-edge research that would help make me sound smart. Me myself, I go to work every day as if our core business were about people, not innovative computer networks. That being said, please consider the non-technical reading from now on as an exception where I will let my philosophic proficiency lose in order to induce you to see what we do: just from a slightly different perspective.
We have all been there: sitting at this unnecessary large dinner surrounded by a noisy mix-up of dialogues and laughter which just make it impossible to make out what the intellectual partner across the table is trying to tell you. Neither can we all ignore the struggle to receive an important phone call just when you are standing next to a busy road nor the inconvenience of standing at a loud concert trying to come to a conclusion within the group of where to go.
The struggle of communicating is known to all of us. We have through different ages learnt and invented new methods to make it less of a pain. What comes to your mind might be technological breakthroughs like physical mail, analogic telephones and eventually digital communication through computers. The concepts of face-to-face, verbal dialogues, however, haven’t been left out either. In political debates, participants use the concept of exchanging lines of argument. Legal trails and formal board meetings also use arranged ways to communicate allowing constructive dialogues to play out. Who isn’t familiar with the good old raising hand in classrooms?! There are fair ways to let everyone have their say, but specific concepts of dialogues are not implementable in every situation. Imagine how foolishly inappropriate it would be to suggest a strict board meeting protocol when meeting up with your friends for a pleasant and relaxed talk. Or the struggle it would be to perform small talk at unforeseen meetings!
The concept of dialogue isn’t only for humans. For machines, computers and other devices that exchange information, the principle of having a settled method of dialogue is even more crucial. These ways of dialogue are called protocols. For more relaxed situations we have Wi-Fi (a protocol) which allows excellent small talk, however with the risk that one person (device) might join and blabber too much making others not having their say. Bluetooth (another protocol) would be appropriate to use when planning an activity within a close group of friends (devices) but would mean chaos if the dialogue turned into a lively public discussion. But what about having a good conversation in disturbing environments like at that large dinner or receiving that incoming call while next to a busy road? We at R3 develop EchoRing – a wireless communications protocol that enables devices to communicate in situations that are too challenging for other technologies.