As if you didn’t already spend enough time on the internet, Microsoft is looking to feed your addiction even further by developing a reliable “Vi-Fi” system for automobiles. The major problem that must be overcome is the fact that current Wi-Fi networks suffer hiccups in service as you pass through. This is especially true when moving out of the range of one base station and into another. To smooth the transition process, Microsoft and a team from the University of Massachusetts are working on building a network based around a base station anchor that is backed up by several auxiliary base stations in the area.
In other words, a computer or other wireless device that taps into the Vi-Fi system would select one base station at a time as an anchor. Using a complex algorithm, the system will calculate the probability that a packet received by an auxiliary base station was not received by the anchor. If the probability is high, the auxiliary will relay the packet to the anchor as a backup.
Microsoft hopes that their research will lead to the first truly reliable Wi-Fi system for vehicles, and recent tests conducted on their campus have been extremely successful. The next step is to scale up the project around the campus, but how or when a Vi-Fi system could be implemented in the real world has not been determined. Of course, one major hurdle would have to be that a serious municipal Wi-Fi infrastructure would be required to get the project off the ground. [SeattlePi via DailyTech via Newlaunches]