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USB Going Wireless

CmdrTaco posted about 10 years ago | from the sick-of-all-these-wires-anyway dept.

Wireless Networking 237

NathanJ writes "Device Forge is running a technical whitepaper on wireless USB. The article states that 'Already there has been some progress with the definition of a WUSB specification with a targeted bandwidth of 480 Mbps. This specification maintains the same usage and architecture as wired USB with a high-speed host-to-device connection.' And that 'the WUSB host can logically connect 127 WUSB devices.' So what am I going to do with my Bluetooth desktop?" Update Holy Deja vu batman... here is an earlier Slashdot article that I missed from 3 weeks ago. Oops.

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237 comments

Don't forget... (1)

SCO$699FeeTroll (695565) | about 10 years ago | (#8873024)

...to pay your $699 licensing fee you cock-smoking teabaggers.

Re:Don't forget... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873098)

YOu CaN SUCk mY fEE YoU aSsHat!!!!!!!!11111111111111

Re:Don't forget... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873101)

Smoke Boot, Asscork!

Your Bluetooth desktop? (3, Insightful)

dokebi (624663) | about 10 years ago | (#8873030)

Put it in the trash of course. Another victim of early adoption.

Re:Your Bluetooth desktop? (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about 10 years ago | (#8873052)

"Put it in the trash of course. Another victim of early adoption."

Whats a "bluetooth desktop"? I've got a desktop with a bluetooth adaptor in it. Even should it magicly stop working when wireless USB comes out the adaptor only cost me 14$, so its not that big a loss.

Re:Your Bluetooth desktop? (2, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | about 10 years ago | (#8873119)

"Wireless desktop" is the term for a combination of wireless keyboard and wireless mouse. A "Bluetooth desktop" is a package that contains a bluetooth keyboard and a bluetooth mouse.

It's really just a marketing phrase.

Re:Your Bluetooth desktop? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873058)

DUPE!!

I'd keep it (5, Interesting)

Valdrax (32670) | about 10 years ago | (#8873117)

Does USB still have the limitation of dividing the bus' time evenly between all devices regardless of how much bandwidth they're using? I remember that that was one of the arguments in the USB 2.0 / Firewire flamewars.

If so, I'd keep my keyboard and mouse off the bus. Besides, there's no reason to throw away working hardware.

Re:I'd keep it (2, Informative)

gnuman99 (746007) | about 10 years ago | (#8873410)

Does USB still have the limitation of dividing the bus' time evenly between all devices regardless of how much bandwidth they're using?

No. This did not happen for longest time. There is a reason for isochronous transfers where bandwidth is important. They have priority over bulk transfers where bandwidth is just secondary.

Of course most of the high bandwidth devices use Bulk transfers because of automatic error correction (ie. retransmission).

Re:Your Bluetooth desktop? (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | about 10 years ago | (#8873179)

Nope.

I don't see it that way. Bluetooth is a great technology. It's slow speed do limit it's applications, but for you mouse and your keyboard and syncing up your cell phone and such, it works great and there is no reason to replace it. It is also low power, isn't it?

WUSB on the other hand is FAST. It seems like a waste to use it for a keyboard or mouse. That said, it will work great in those areas where BT is too slow. Wouldn't it be great to set your iPod next to your laptop and have it sync up all the songs in a few seconds? Or to print wirelessly (BT does this, but if you wanted to print a photo it would be slooooooowwwwww). Want a new hard drive? Set it next to your computer and it works. Same thing with that new camera you got that has WUSB. Just keep it near your PC and you can get your pictures with no wires. How about a wireless soundcard? Or even a (he he he) wireless USB wireless network adaptor! The idea of having a flash key thing built into your watch is nice, but imagine if it was WUSB! Just walk up to any computer and thanks to WUSB you have access to the files that are on your wrist without any cables or anything else (after a password for security or something, of course).

And because WUSB supports limited P2P stuff (IIRC), you could move your iPod next to your WUSB hard drive and have them sync without the computer (after all, all the data is in the iTunes database files) or have your camera download the pictures to your hard drive, or print your pictures without a computer or wires. For things needing high bandwidth, WUSB is the way to go. For many other things, BT is still great.

Now you can find many of those things I listed above with BT right now. There are BT printers, a BT camera,, and more. But while BT works for low bandwidth things, trying to move pictures from a camera to your PC through BT is supposed to be agonizingly slow. I wouldn't want to print 5MP photos over BT either.

I think there is room for both. It's if BT speeds up fast enough in time that we could be in for a fight. Otherwise I think they serve different enough markets that things will be OK.

Security? (1)

Allen Zadr (767458) | about 10 years ago | (#8873292)

Could you please inform me on this one?

Isn't this going to be a security problem (just like the UPNP network device stuff)? Of course, perhaps Bluetooth has the same problems, I really don;t know, but it seems - especially for the high speed products - that the 'it just works' functionality of USB would be a security issue once it's gone wireless.

Re:Your Bluetooth desktop? (1)

Flashbck (739237) | about 10 years ago | (#8873397)

"The future is now. Soon every American home will integrate their television, phone, and computer. You'll be able to visit the Louvre on one channel, and watch female mud wrestling on another. You can do your shopping at home, or play Mortal Kombat with a friend in Vietnam. There's no end to the possibilities."

-Cable Guy

Re:Your Bluetooth desktop? (1)

nial-in-a-box (588883) | about 10 years ago | (#8873416)

Do Bluetooth input devices really work perfectly, though? I have never actually bought one but that is mainly due to the fact that I have no need and don't need heavy batteries to replace or recharge. It has always been a concern of mine that the latency of Bluetooth would be a major issue however. With most all computers having multiple USB buses nowadays, anyway, there is no reason this shouldn't be continued with WUSB to prevent latency and bandwidth issues.

Ultimately, I think the biggest concern is in how this is implemented in the peripherals. I see problems with exclusivity and so on. It would seem to me that expensive user interfaces would need to be added to "simple" devices such as printers and so on so that a proper connection can be established. I could be completely wrong as I don't see an LCD on Bluetooth keyboards, but the more sensitive the data the more security you need. More security requires more interfaces to implement and optimize it. I can see WUSB either making things more complex or simpler, and I sure hope we can look forward to more simplicity. And if this new standard isn't good enough to act as a replacement for wired USB in all possible applications for new products, then I don't think it should be implemented. We're finally getting over old-school buses, and the last thing we need is to keep piling things on top of each other.

Call me a minimalist, but I think that FireWire for wired peripheral connections, WUSB for wireless peripheral connections, and hopefully some kind of new wireless "ethernet" is all we should need for external connections at the consumer level. Don't expect to see this any time soon, however.

Re:Your Bluetooth desktop? (2, Insightful)

SensitiveMale (155605) | about 10 years ago | (#8873430)

you could move your iPod next to your WUSB hard drive and have them sync without the computer

Yeah, I can just see Apple putting WUSB in the iPod RIGHT NOW.

Even better story (3, Funny)

prostoalex (308614) | about 10 years ago | (#8873032)

here [slashdot.org]

Oh, wait, it's the same one.

Re:Even better story (1)

SlashdotMakesMeKool (610077) | about 10 years ago | (#8873150)

It's about time the editors got crap like this sorted out. It doesn't appear to be a service worth paying for. Can't they just run a search for the article before they publish it?

Low Power (2, Interesting)

satterth (464480) | about 10 years ago | (#8873035)

Bluetooth will still live on in the Low Power applications.

Re:Low Power (2, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | about 10 years ago | (#8873066)

We've got Bluetooth at low power, WiFi for distance applications... where's WUSB supposed to fit in?

Re:Low Power (1)

MBCook (132727) | about 10 years ago | (#8873264)

High bandwidth and local. BT is slow, and WiFi isn't good for having tons of things in the same area.

Besides, BT and WUSB are for peripherals, WiFi is for networking. I don't like the idea of putting WiFi in every camera, home printer, etc just so it can be wireless. Those are the kind of applications that are just screaming for WUSB.

WiFi should be for inter-computer networking and nothing else IMHO (note: TiVos and such count as computers, becasue they aren't peripherals).

Re:Low Power (4, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | about 10 years ago | (#8873378)

Low range, high speed. It's damn irritating having cable spaghetti for all my current USB devices, locating the appropriate connector for device X, Y or Z when I need to attach it and then realising that I need to unplug device A to make space for whatever I just located the cable for.

Bluetooth is too slow for many USB applications. Keyboard and mouse, yes, but even synching my PDA over BT is irritating especially if I want to backup the 128MB memory card. WiFi in my digital camera is unneccesary and if I had a decent cam (which I will probably purchase when I actually have some cash) I don't want to have to transfer 1GB+ of high resolution images over a 54Mbit connection.

WUSB is not an essentia protocol I admit, but it sounds like it will be damn convenient.

what makes this different than bluetooth? (3, Interesting)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 10 years ago | (#8873042)

what makes this different than bluetooth, and what really are the benefits of wireless keyboards and mice and stuff anyway? Sure, I can sit far away from the computer, but then i cannot see to read the monitor.

Re:what makes this different than bluetooth? (1)

Professr3 (670356) | about 10 years ago | (#8873077)

It's not just for input devices. Your PDA, MP3 player, printer, digital camera, or any other output device is where this technology will probably be most used.

Benefits (1)

GSPride (763993) | about 10 years ago | (#8873165)

The benefits would be things like wireless printers and scanners. It's also a way to reduce wire clutter (never a bad thing), and, according to the paper, allow connection of up to 127 devices without racks and racks of USB hubs. It would also be nice for digital camaras, since you wouldn't need to worry about the correct adaptor. You could offload your pictures on any WUSB enabled computer. What abount wireless pen drives? Connecting multiple devices to a laptop? I think there's alot of use to this technology.

Re:what makes this different than bluetooth? (1)

chicagoan (670650) | about 10 years ago | (#8873316)

You have obviously never used a wireless mouse before. Once you are free from constantly battling your mouse cord you don't want to used a corded mouse again. As far as a wireless keyboard many times I move the keyboard off the desk if I need the deskspace for paperwork. Another great use is being a lefty other people who use my computer like to switch the mouse to the right hand side of the keyboard. After a while you have your mouse and keyboard locked down in a massive cord tangling.

Early?! (2, Insightful)

oO Peeping Tom Oo (750505) | about 10 years ago | (#8873047)

I think we gave them enough of a chance! C'mon, enough is enough....specifications dont matter if there's no product suppor....

This (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873048)

iS ThE FIRsT PoSt!!!!!!!!!!!!!Llllllllllllll

Not the Thing For Me (2, Insightful)

JaxWeb (715417) | about 10 years ago | (#8873051)

I don't think this is the product for me... I plug in my MP3 player, Digital Camera, Scanner, Printer and Bluetooth Gizmo in from USB (My keyboard is also a mini-USB hub). None of those really have to be a distance from my Computer.

There are already solutions for people who want their Keyboard or Printer a distance away from their computers without wires. What would make these people use this solution?

Re:Not the Thing For Me (3, Insightful)

Morgahastu (522162) | about 10 years ago | (#8873128)

It's not about distance and keeping your peripherals far away, it's about not having any wires. I'd rather just plop my mp3 player on my desk and have it sync then have to plug it in and find an empty usb port or buy a usb hub to plug it in.

I look at the back of my desk and it makes me cry to see the mess of wires and all the different cables I have for all my devices.

Wireless USB would be a godsend. See my other post regarding why I think bluetooth sucks [slashdot.org]

Absolutely (2, Interesting)

2names (531755) | about 10 years ago | (#8873177)

but then, how do you recharge it? My USB devices recharge when I wire them up, will WUSB be able to (eventually) do the same?

Re:Absolutely (2, Insightful)

Morgahastu (522162) | about 10 years ago | (#8873243)

USB devices that get charged from the USB power are a minority. And if we had wireless power then alot of the worlds problem would be solved ;)

But it raises another issue, why can't we have standard power adapters? Why can't someone make a universal power adapter that adjusts power output for the specific device? BAH

Re:Absolutely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873369)

Because the heatsinks on such devices would have to be massive to allow for your high power applications.

In other words, it would cost too much.

Re:Not the Thing For Me (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 10 years ago | (#8873356)

it's about not having any wires.

Despite all this attention about wireless, one still has to have at least one wire: a power cord for recharging. Some manufacturers were smart enough to make the same wire carry data and recharge power, so that seems to negate the need for wireless.

Hopefully manufacturers learn from wireless "b" and bluetooth that communications be properly encrypted.

Re:Not the Thing For Me (1)

Haydn Fenton (752330) | about 10 years ago | (#8873149)

Maybe its not the distance factor people purchase wireless technology for..
Recently I purchased a wireless keyboard and wireless optical mouse (via USB, namely because they were cheap - wireless wasn't hugely appealing on the whole), and I stay at exactly the same distance as I always have done from my PC. I find it nice that the corner of my room (which is where I keep my PC) is now a lot more wire-free and things never get tangled up anymore. It's much easier to take it out and swap it to another PC. It's also fun to watch my wireless receiver flash everytime I press a key or move the mouse..

Teehee! Look at it go!!

One step closer (5, Funny)

Enze6997 (741393) | about 10 years ago | (#8873053)

Were one step closer to Cartmans Trapper Keeper!

And so is your face. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873307)

nt

Re:One step closer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873334)

That's "we're" and "Cartman's". Apostrophes are your friends.

I already know the truth. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873057)

"I already know the truth. the important thing is convincing others the righteousness of my views. Sometimes this will involve using techniques such as emphasizing certain things and deemphasizing others, I already know the truth. Contradictory information will be filtered accordingly.

"Those who stand in opposition to me are deluded. I already know the truth. Spreading the word will involve dedication, determination, careful explanation. I must be flexible in tactics, otherwise the enemy will overrun me with their lies and deceptions. Endsmeans.

"It is hardly worth mentioning that truth is frequently a malleable thing, determined to some degree by the structure of the argument and the amount of emphasis certain things deserve. If you can control the structure or emphasis you can control the outcome. The question asked limits the possible answers. All arguments must be framed in a favorable light, for we must triumph. The enemy does no different.

"The audience is the important thing. Never, ever forget the audience. Every word uttered must be done in remembrence of their presence. Conversion is the goal. Conversion of the middle. Ridicule of the enemy. Strengthening of our side. Building our position. Incorrect facts cannot and must not be allowed to distract. They will be contradicted, and shown to be wrong.

"Sanctimony is an extremely useful tool in achieving the goal of spreading the truth. If the opposition does something that is morally wrong they must be loudly shamed. It will be difficult for our cries of indignation to be too loud, too consisent, or too energetic. We already know the truth. The moral failings of our allies are to be forgiven out of simple necesssity and dedication, for we must stand together for our common cause. But our enemy's failings must be advertised so that people everywhere are aware of them and the obvious hollowness of their cause.

"Hypocricy. If the enemy can be shown to be hypocritical, the battle is won. Hypocricy shows the lies of the enemy, lessens the worth of their words, distracts attention away from their lies. Hypocricy is far and away the most useful of tools, and should be kept in mind second only to the audience itself. It not only allows for sanctimony, but also shows the hypocrite to be unbelievable; a truly helpful combination. I already know the truth: the enemy is wrong, wicked, and self-destructive. Further, hypocricy causes the focus to shift away from our own (necessarily) clever use of rhetoric, and onto the enemy's own sinful behaviors.

"Do not mock our allies. Ridicule must not be allowed to undermine our position. Do nothing that will lessen how righteous we are viewed, and are. Only ridicule the opposition.

"I already know the truth, and that truth is that my position and belief is completely and utterly correct in every significant way. I am open minded, but determined in my belief. I welcome other opinions, but am experienced in the world. I cherish debate, but never forget the King of Lies. The opposition is full of baseless hate and determined to destroy me and my kind. I will not allow this to happen. I will counter their propaganda with the truth, and the tactics used are used defensively, to survive.

"I am good, those who are like me are good. Those who differ from me in certain ways are bad, animal, reprehensible. Those who are like me are similarly aware of the truth, and the tactics we must use to win battles, and ultimately the war.

"I already know the truth. I must spread the word for their own good."

Re:I already know the truth. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873174)

This is not the Jessica Lynch / camel spider pr0n that I requested!!!

Distance? (3, Insightful)

pholower (739868) | about 10 years ago | (#8873059)

I read through the paper, but I don't remember seeing anything about how far the transmission would go. If it is being compared to bluetooth, is it 30 feet. Or is this something that could also take over WiFi and go hundreds of feet? I would love to have a home network with a +400Mbps bandwidth.

Re:Distance? (1)

Zapman (2662) | about 10 years ago | (#8873332)

Block quoth the article:

The specification is intended for WUSB to operate as a wire replacement with targeted usage models for cluster connectivity to the host and device-to-device connectivity at less than 10 meters.

Oh Yeah? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873062)

Well wireless is going hardwired, so there.

Powered? (3, Interesting)

MalaclypseTheYounger (726934) | about 10 years ago | (#8873067)

Uh, one of the reasons I like USB is that it's a POWERED connection. Are we going to be sending energy through wireless connections with this WUSB somehow? And how much lead suit protection do I need to wear to not grow a third eye or extra thumbs when using it?

Re:Powered? (1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873095)

yuo == tehRetard

Re:Powered? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873282)

silly, all wireless devices have batteries

Re:Powered? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873385)

not unless nikola tesla was on the commitee....

Re:Powered? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873444)

I think a third eye would be a good thing. I would prefer that it is down by my foot so the upskirt shots would be less obvious..

Wireless PNP (1, Funny)

thebra (707939) | about 10 years ago | (#8873068)

"...WUSB specifications will allow for generation steps of data throughput as the ultra wideband radio evolves and with future process technologies, exceeding limits of 1 Gbps."
I could use my scanner from any where in the room! But now when I plug in my USB devices Windows can crash quicker! Also since there won't be plugging what will PNP be? Hope-N-Pray?

Re:Wireless PNP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873202)

since wireless USB won't be powered (I'm assuming) Power N Pray? .. And in my experience, USB deviced have not caused my windows box to crash. And for the record, their are other operating systems that support USB/PNP

Don't know if this will take off... (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | about 10 years ago | (#8873080)

I heard quite a bit about wireless firewire a year or two ago, but it never got out of the lab. I wouldn't bet the farm on this until it starts bearing some realy fruit and the cards hit the shelves.

Answer: (1, Troll)

BJZQ8 (644168) | about 10 years ago | (#8873081)

Abandon it. Bluetooth was too little, too soon. Where tech executives saw people exchanging business cards with their PDA's, the real world saw a wireless connection with a range of 3 feet and a mere kilobits of bandwidth. I think it was more of a prolonged back-patting session for "Bluetooth Special Interest Group" members and less of a means of providing function to the customer.

Re:Answer: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873213)

Yeah really. If bluetooth was serious, then there would be bluetooth phones, and bluetooth headsets, and bluetooth keyboards. But you don't see any of those do you?

Oh...wait...

Ummm... not quite (5, Interesting)

merlin_jim (302773) | about 10 years ago | (#8873082)

This specification maintains the same usage and architecture as wired USB

Well unless they've been reading a ton of Tesla, I would call it the same usage or architecture as wired USB. Because USB is not only data but power, and AFAIK, wireless power distribution is neither a commodity technology nor tested to be safe in close quarters with humans...

The impact is that now I will have to turn devices on and off, worry about batteries, and power cords. Best case is everything gets (expensive) AAAs. Worst case is everything gets a power cord. If I'm using wireless USB, why would I want a power cord? I mean I'm not too keen on trading plugging in one thing for plugging in another.

And I've used wireless mice. They become erratic way before the batteries die. I like my HIDs to be precise and reliable, thank you very much...

Re:Ummm... not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873225)


Wireless printers. Wireless scanners. Plug them in across the room (or in another room) where the free power outlet is, instead of having to either string 25' of USB extension cords around the room, or put it ugly-close to your computer.

I am so looking forward to this.

Re:Ummm... not quite (0, Troll)

sybase (592402) | about 10 years ago | (#8873244)

how is this different from any other wireless technology? .. get a life.

Re:Ummm... not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873347)

You still have your wired HID USB devices (I don't have a need for wireless mice/keyboard either). I'd be happy to have a secondary printer/scanner plugged into the wall in another room if they looked like any other USB device to my computer. I'd love to access my digital camera sitting in its camera bag probably in another room.

Why bluetooth has failed (4, Interesting)

Morgahastu (522162) | about 10 years ago | (#8873083)

in compairison to standard wired USB.

Bluetooth is only useful for a very limited number of applications on a desktop computer (or even a laptop). A mouse, keyboard, and maybe a bluetooth cell phone or PDA (which very little people have). It's not worth the cost of having to buy a bluetooth setup or for manufacturers to include it on the motherboard.

If it had higher bandwidth then it could be useful for printers, scanners, mp3 players, hard drives, etc.

If wireless usb does provide the speeds they claim then it will be a huge success. The U in USB does infact standard for Universal, and that's what bluetooth needed to be really successful.

Oh and not to mention bluetooth support is awful in windows.

Re:Why bluetooth has failed (5, Funny)

Cerpicio (691827) | about 10 years ago | (#8873232)

"(which very little people have)"

Why don't the very tall people don't have them? Or at least the some-what-average height?

Re:Why bluetooth has failed (5, Insightful)

Moofie (22272) | about 10 years ago | (#8873360)

OK, unless I'm totally stupid, lots more devices available support Bluetooth than support Wireless USB.

Will it be better supported tomorrow? Who knows. What I do know is that any time device interconnection standards become balkanized, computer users lose.

Re:Why bluetooth has failed (4, Funny)

asr_man (620632) | about 10 years ago | (#8873432)

Actually it failed because of a terrible name choice by the marketing droids. What, did they consider "Black Eye" and "Green Thumb" before finally settling on "Blue Tooth"?

They should have chosen a really cool name like...umm..."Linspire".

Re:Why bluetooth has failed (1)

hitmark (640295) | about 10 years ago | (#8873486)

the idea that a bluetooth phone costs extra is a urban myth, its the phone makers that dont see a market for bluetooth outside of high end phones most of the time. its the same problem that was with irda in its days and now its showing up on any old phone.

just look at sony-ericsson (or however that name should be typed), any phone they ship have a bluetooth chip. and im not just talking about the high end pda-phone p900 but anything down to the p300 series (allmost). and the nokia n-gage have bluetooth in it for wireless gameing :)

its a chicken and egg thing as allways. the equipment makers dont want to stuff extra hardware into theyre gizmos as they dont see any services moveing across it, the service people dont make services for hardware that isnt on the market.

allso, if you have a bluetooth enabled device you can connect it to 99% of the bluetooth devices out there as the protocols are embeded in the chip, not stacked on top of it with software. on WUSB you risk haveing 3 diffrent printers that all use WUSB but unless your camera support them in software there is no way for you to send the images over to it. basicly bluetooth is more vendor agnostic while WUSB is vendor lock-in enabled, just look at how long it took before we had plugable harddrives on usb that didnt need special drivers.

First Nail (1)

rackman (724476) | about 10 years ago | (#8873089)

In Bluetooths coffin. It's about time someone came up with an alternative that wont break my piggy bank. Seriously though more manufactures like the USB standard. Maybye this will help push a desk with no wires finnally.

Security is going to be huge here with that rate. (3, Interesting)

michael path (94586) | about 10 years ago | (#8873107)

Awesome idea, 480Mbps wirelessly.

Security is going to be paramount here, but the spec says:

Wireless connections, on the other hand, due to environmental characteristics, may establish connection paths that are not obvious. In fact, it may not be obvious when a device is connected.

It goes on to suggest a remedy of configuring security at the time of installation. Should this technology exist in the future, that's going to pose a tremendous stumbling block to assume home users, where most USB device usage occurs, would do that. It's a step back from that plug-and-play that they're used to.

If only firewire could do this as well (1, Insightful)

CrackedButter (646746) | about 10 years ago | (#8873109)

Then it would be more exciting, imagine a hard drive wireless at a real speed of 400mps, never mind trying it with FW800. You could stream the DV off a camera right onto an external HD, think of the time saved if it was automatic as soon as you walked through the door?

It'll take some work... (1)

kirk444 (513147) | about 10 years ago | (#8873116)

But if they can manage an implementation at least a little better than the "hit-or-miss" bluetooth, especially when used across devices (pocketPC > desktop Windows > Desktop Mac, etc), then they'll have a winner. If it's as easy as USB (finally) is to plug and play, then this could be huge! Definetely something worth watching.

Re:It'll take some work... (2, Interesting)

gmiley01 (734988) | about 10 years ago | (#8873252)

This brings up the question tho: Will wireless USB be plug and play (metaphorically speaking I guess)? I mean, will your WUSB hub detect devices in the area and automagically set them up? This could be interesting to see. Immagine WarUSBing.

Easy (4, Funny)

CrystalFalcon (233559) | about 10 years ago | (#8873126)

So what am I going to do with my Bluetooth desktop?

Put it there in the corner, next to the Cordless Desktop, the Logitech one that used proprietary radio. Yeah, right there, next to the infrared keyboard.

You know what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873129)

When you buy two burial plots you usually get a discount. I think BSD and Bluetooth should be buried side by side. Even better, I bet you could find an OSS developer that would 'contribute' some of their yard for the plots.

Bluetooth for phones (3, Insightful)

ewg (158266) | about 10 years ago | (#8873147)

The article looks like WUSB is oriented toward device-to-host communication. Bluetooth supports connections between many different kinds of devices. Phones and accessories are a natural here. (After all, Bluetooth originated with Sweden's Ericsson.)

My favorite Bluetooth application is moving camera-phone photos to my laptop. My second-favorite application is laptop-to-bluetooth-to-phone-to-GPRS-to-internet.

I can see it now: (5, Funny)

PrimeWaveZ (513534) | about 10 years ago | (#8873168)

<Dumbass> why do i keep burning coasters?
<Tech> what connection you using?
<Dumbass> wusb
<Tech> stop talking on your cordless phone while writing to CD

LOL TEH 2PPL TLKING JOKE +5FUNY&@#[NO CARIAR] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873331)

A Song and A thought (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873181)

Anus area sweet,
Its a comin' down the street.
Now, I ask you very confidentially,
Anus area sweet.

(sung ot teh tune of ain't she sweet)

Why is it that every fat spanish teacher has twin towers big as an Alabama town? /Discuss

Its already in production! (1)

lcsjk (143581) | about 10 years ago | (#8873187)

www.jameco.com, page 194, Phoebe Networking Wireless USB. Just not quite 500 MHz.

Wonderful (4, Funny)

SeanTobin (138474) | about 10 years ago | (#8873192)

Go wireless USB! Now, with only a mere pringles can, I can "borrow" my neighbors printer, turn his keyboard satanic, and upload the latest Simpsons theme to his PDA!

Joy :)

Applications (2, Interesting)

crow (16139) | about 10 years ago | (#8873196)

I can only think of a few useful applications of this technology:

Web cams: You want to put in a camera to monitor the baby's room (or the driveway, or whatever). Provided the range is sufficient, this may be a decent way of handling it (though other means exist already).

Networking: It's higher-bandwidth than the current 802.11 standards. The question (as others have mentioned) is the range.

Laptop base stations: You can leave your devices plugged in for power, and you don't have to hook anything up when you bring your laptop into the room.

Any word on security? (2, Interesting)

Phoenixhunter (588958) | about 10 years ago | (#8873208)

Last I heard the preliminary WUSB standard was quite lacking in terms of security. Steal your co-workers entire Mp3 collection in only 15 minutes!

Need it on my stereo receiver (5, Insightful)

James McP (3700) | about 10 years ago | (#8873231)

More than my PC. Really, there aren't many external devices I have for my PC that don't require power and a rather easily managed cable thanks to convenient hubs.

What I *do* need is an easier time with my A/V setup. Swapping out components is bad but adding anything new is nightmarish. Deciding which devices should be analog, S-Video, optical, or digital coax is mind numbing. I'd hoped I could firewire everything together but that hasn't happened either, darn it.

Give me a receiver, DVD player, Tivo, consoles, TVs and speakers with WUSB and I'll be happy. Plug the buggers into a power strip and watch as magic happens and everything chats. Sure, It'll probably need a PAN ID of somesort to limit bleed between setups but dang, it'd make it so much easier to drop a DVD changer and another console or 3 into the setup.

Security? (3, Insightful)

David Hume (200499) | about 10 years ago | (#8873235)


From the whitepaper:

WUSB security will ensure the same level of security as wired USB. Connection-level security between devices will ensure that the appropriate device is associated and authenticated before operation of the device is permitted. Higher levels of security involving encryption should be implemented at the application level. Processing overhead supporting security should not impose noticeable performance impacts or add device costs.


The above is certainly a requirement for WUSB to take off. However, it does not specify either a means or a method to achieve that goal.

Also, what is this bit about, "Higher levels of security involving encryption should be implemented at the application level?" Will we need to replace our applications with WUSB-Security Enabled (tm) apps?

Finally, long range WUSB coupled with the same level of understanding of, and dedication to, security consumers re: WIFI could make WUSB truly exciting.

Everybody gets one (5, Funny)

Peldor (639336) | about 10 years ago | (#8873261)

Update Holy Deja vu batman... here is an earlier Slashdot article that I missed from 3 weeks ago. Oops.

Don't worry about it. I'm sure it's your first time, and it won't happen again.

Still Useless (3, Funny)

Duke Machesne (453316) | about 10 years ago | (#8873276)

For me, cordless will become useful as soon as they invent cordless power supplies. Why would I want a wireless desktop if I had to keep changing the batteries in everything?

Obligatory disadvantage of WUSB... (1)

DocSnyder (10755) | about 10 years ago | (#8873342)

My 1337 USB c4b|3z with red, green and blue LEDs will become obsolete.

And so will your face. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873475)

nT!

Speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873383)

im sorry i see WUSB replace usb in the same way 802.11 replaced ethernet..... yea its a neat trick but nothing says speed like a slab of copper going to the back of your comp.

Security problem waiting to happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8873418)

From the article:

WUSB security will ensure the same level of security as wired USB. Connection-level security between devices will ensure that the appropriate device is associated and authenticated before operation of the device is permitted. Higher levels of security involving encryption should be implemented at the application level. Processing overhead supporting security should not impose noticeable performance impacts or add device costs.

Does anyone else smell the security problem waiting to happen? Sure, device association gets some security. But by keeping encryption at the application level, each device vendor will decide whether or not to encrypt between the application (or device driver) and the device. The problem? Since it's not a required part of the standard, who thinks any hardware vendors will bother? I doubt any will. So anyone parked in front of your house with a very high gain directional antenna can sniff your WUSB keyboard, watch everything you type, intercept printer jobs to your WUSB printer, duplicate all the data you send to your WUSB hard drive, and watch the video you're playing on your WUSB display.

This is why encryption should be REQUIRED, a good strong algorithm for the WUSB standard. Then applications can ADD encryption on top if they feel the need (Hey, layerd security is a good idea!).

The FBI, NSA, and Homeland Security probably like it the way it is proposed now.
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