In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you’d like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with “Insert Coin” as the subject line.
If you’ve ever thought “Hey, my internet is pretty slow, maybe I can get a second line and combine them into one big, zippy connection!” then you’re not alone — those of us who are broadband-deprived need all the help we can get. But a quick tour through Google will show you the difficulty of doing that process, called “bonding,” at home. So, Connectify has proposed Dispatch, software that lets you easily combine your WiFi, ethernet and 3G/4G into a single, fat pipe, at a reasonable cost. The company brings along wireless sharing know-how from its Hotspot product to the project, and promises that with every connection you combine, you’ll get a corresponding bump in throughput. Also, the system will automatically failover to a good connection if one goes on the fritz, and even switch automatically between WiFi and 3G/4G to maximize speed and save money.
To prove the tech, the company combined all the available open WiFi networks in a neighborhood along with a tethered Verizon mobile phone, and were able to create an impressive 85Mbs connection, as the video below the break shows. So far, Connectify has vacuumed up $30K for Dispatch toward the $50K objective, with about two weeks left. So, if you’re desperate for more speed, or just want to trump your neighbor’s bandwidth by stealing his WiFi and melding it with your ADSL, check the source to see how to pledge.
When it comes to supergroups, The Traveling Wilbury’s haven’t got anything on these guys. Bright House, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox and Time Warner are teaming up to share around 50,000 metro WiFi hotspots for their customers, under the banner of “CableWiFi.” New York City and the Tri-State area, Los Angeles, Tampa, Orlando and Philadelphia will be among the first to get the service, with growth to more cities pledged for the future. If nothing else, it should be a good way to stick it to the man when he snatches your unlimited data plan.
London’s red telephone boxes are iconic, sure, but just how relevant can they be in this century? Spectrum Interactive has a solution that both ensures their preservation and provides customers in search of internet a free ticket online. The company has converted some 1,800 pay phones throughout London into WiFi hotspots, offering passersby a free connection so long as they provide their mobile numbers and download an e-coupon for a nearby store. Spectrum initially began testing the program with the help of Nokia late last year, and while it’s amassed an impressive number of WiFi access points, it’s lost the support of its Finnish partner, and is still assessing how willing local businesses are to pay for getting coupons in the service. On top of that, there’s the whole issue of how many people will think to scope out phone booths rather than, say, an internet cafe. Here’s hoping Spectrum has some very flashy signs on the windows.