Be honest. How annoying is it when the internet dies in your house?

Yeah, I don’t like it either.

In modern times, access to the internet is pretty much essential for everyday living. Not only to we use it excessively for our own leisurely activities, but businesses rely on it completely for work.

Imagine, for a moment, a world where we can accomplish all the perks of being connected to the internet…without being connected to the internet.

My friends, allow me to introduce you to WAVE.

My first introduction to WAVE was when I joined the team here at Left as Marketing and Communications Coordinator. It’s rare nowadays to find a company that sets their sights on changing the world just as much as raking in a profit.

So, what is WAVE, you ask?

WAVE gives us the ability to wirelessly connect to various other devices within a certain proximity. It taps into self-created hotspots in cell phones, or through the WiFi router directly. This allows users to send information from one device to another without connecting to the net.

Within a local proximity, this can be extremely useful. Let’s look at the reason Left started using this technology in the first place.

In addition to our main office in British Columbia, Canada, we also have a second office in Bangladesh. Suffice to say, Bangladesh doesn’t have the same internet access we enjoy in Canada.

One of the big problems we face when communicating with the office there, was bandwidth allocation. To have a simple Skype call with us, they needed to use their entire useable bandwidth to connect to the call. As such, all the other workers were completely without internet access for the duration of the call.

As you can imagine, this can be quite problematic and detrimental to productivity.

To counteract the negatives of such little bandwidth, the team in Bangladesh began using connection technology to send files through the WiFi directly. This allowed them to work more efficiently even without internet access for extended periods of time.

Now, you might be thinking, “That’s great, Torin. But what about long distance information sharing?”

Good question.

It’s true that this connecting of two devices currently only works within a certain proximity. However, we can transfer information through multiple devices to get to the end destination if there exist enough connection points to “create a path”.

For example, I want to send a picture to my friend Kristie.

Assuming WAVE is popular and widespread, the path might look something like this:

  • My cellphone to a cell phone next door.
  • From the cell phone next door to a WiFi in the coffee shop across the street.
  • From the WiFi to another cellphone down the lane.
  • So on and so forth until it reaches Kristie’s cell phone.

This example shows us that, if enough people have WAVE, a big jump is not necessary. WAVE will find a path to the destination and make multiple short jumps to get there. This is called a mesh network.

So, how does this change the world?

We may not like to think about this, but internet access is a luxury for the privileged. If live in a nice area with plenty of infrastructure, you’re going to have access to the internet.

If you were unlucky to be born in a less fortunate area, you might not have access to such a luxury. In this case, you could still use WAVE.

Connectivity is the key to making the world a better place. Think about distributing educational materials throughout poor places, who normally wouldn’t have access to such things. Think about being able to send information or messages when your internet is down.

There are so many possibility on the horizon, and we’re hunting them all down.

Torin Slik
Marketing and Communications Coordinator