The law of unintended consequences-- sometimes it is a good thing.

The law of unintended consequences sometimes strikes in a good way. This is analogous to the real way the armed forces are organized. Personnel issues in the military are handled by two offices. Most people see the "Surprise Party Department." But every so often, the "Fairy Godmother Department," (which, according to Lt. j.g. Robert A. Heinlein, USN, ret., consists of a single, elderly GS4 clerk, who is often on sick leave) takes your file and gives you a present. Wireless, I think, will be a lot like that. There are people who see what wireless can do, and then there are the things that we will get that we haven't even begun to think about. How about finding a place to park? I dunno about you, but I find that one of the most frustrating things about driving. You pull into a parking lot, and cruise around until the perfect spot opens up. And you cruise around, and around and around. The fewer spaces in the lot, the more fun this is, right? Yeah. So my thoughts immediately turned to the law of unintended consequences today when I received a press release from Meshnetics touting a case study of the use of 802.15.4 Zigbee in a parking lot. You can read the entire case study by clicking here. Now, imagine a big display screen that you can see when you pull into the lot. Imagine that the RFID tag you use for the tollway (EZPass, etc.) is picked up as you turn into the lot, and the parking lot display screen assigns you the best available parking space and the big display screen tells you where it is, and the fastest route through the lot to get there. Did anybody ever intend this kind of use for wireless. Heck, no! Nobody will be able to envision all the ways we'll do things differently when wireless connectivity becomes ubiquitous, whether in parking lots or the process industries. It's a brave new world.

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