Cloudless Days and Connectivity Gaps

Boy in car on smartphone

Here’s what a connectivity gap looks like through the eyes of my 7-year-old son as we drive through the Portland hillside.

SON: Dad, is there connection here?

ME: Mmmm, not sure, why?

SON: Well, I can’t connect to MineCraft and I need some birchwood. When will we have connection?

ME: I dunno, why don’t you look out the window instead?

What strikes me about this conversation (besides the apparent fact that birchwood is super important and how I sound like a quintessential parent) is that to my son, it doesn’t compute that he can’t have a connection to his games or shows whenever or anywhere he wants. And I’m sure all the second-graders ask the same thing. But truth is, don’t we all expect to have connection all the time?

How many times have you really, really needed to find a connection so you can get to your adult-version of “birchwood” and you can’t access it? And what happens when your birchwood is a 20MB file?

Our expectation is digital connectivity should be ever present, and our relationship to our digital things—our games, photos, social feeds and files— are something we don’t want to spend a lot of time away from. Anyone attending CES last week and their colossal power outage would know what I’m talking about.

The truth is connectivity is not always present and in fact, it’s a lot less present than we realize. “The Cloud” only exists with a solid Wi-Fi connection and is then only valuable if the WiFi is actually fast.

Connectivity is only going to become more critical as we emerge into The Connected Age of the IOT and need to link to our smart blenders, tupperware or whatever. Also, last time I noticed, files sizes and better in-phone cameras are only making file sizes larger, which calls for more bandwidth.

So what are some solutions to solving our connectivity gaps until we get cell-tower chips installed in our heads?

Cellular services like XFINITY Mobile and Google’s Project Fi are pitching “a new kind of network” by piggybacking on to their existing Internet subscribers’ Wi-Fi signals to bring an incredible amount of hot-spots to their customers. The concept is great and surely will improve, but for now it’s not fully realized with speeds at varying locations are not fast, or don’t work at all. As a customer of one of these services, I have to frequently turn Wi-Fi off to opt for a faster (and pricier) connection through LTE.

Another solution would be to carry an external drive with you, which gives you access to your files, but doesn’t give you connectivity to the Internet or the ability to easily share with others. Also, the form factors for drives are not small enough and you’d have to carry a Fanny Pack to have it on your person (really, it’s NOT okay if you wear a fanny pack).

But if we had ultra-portable storage that also had connectivity? Now we might have a solution that could help keep us close to our precious birchwood at all times.

LINK is an ultra-portable computer that comes with a dual-band Wi-Fi capability. The dual-band Wi-Fi allows LINK to connect to any existing Wi-Fi signal and also create a Wi-Fi network locally. Multiple devices can stream movie files from a LINK, so, if you and 5 of your friends all want to download and binge-watch a season’s worth of your favorite show on Amazon Prime or Netflix, then with LINK, you can.

The current form factor of LINK is just over the size of a matchbox (2” x 2.5” x .25”), making it practically unnoticeable and can even fit within an integrated smartphone case. So all your birchwoods and redstones can be easily accessed and carried with you on either cloud-filled or cloudless days.

Until broadband connections become truly ubiquitous, we will always discover the gaps in our connectivity and access to our digital stuff. Meanwhile, the rest of us will just have to wait and just stare at the clouds out the window.

To find out more about the ultra-portable computer that is LINK and it’s current capabilities, visit CES.LINK.

 


21 thoughts on “Cloudless Days and Connectivity Gaps

  1. This sounds like a really new concept! I have never heard of it and just did a quick research about it and it looks really tempting, especially for me a videographer and a photograher!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not connected like that. My children however are. I use a GPS ( keep a map in the glove box) and my phone doesn’t link to the internet. My little people though act as if the world will fall apart if they are without a connection for more than 10 minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay I really need to check LINK out. While I’m not a big fan of always being connected (it tends to rule my life to much) there are times when it’s vital to have it. And since our infrastructure here in S Africa isn’t always up to scratch it can make life a little difficult

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  4. I try not to be connected all the time but when I have times when there’s nothing else to do, I do feel unsettled if I am not connected. Recently I have been to Mexico and I really felt the need to be connected while I was waiting at the airport for my delayed flight. I was unable to check my connection and I wasn’t able to let the people who were waiting for me back in the UK that I was delayed and I might miss my connection to London. It wasn’t a nice feeling.

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  5. What an interesting post! Not really interested in being connected ALL the time.. but it seems like the times I need to be is when I can’t haha!!

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  6. I have to say that I am mostly connected all the time, being an entrepreneur, I need to be always on top of things ^^ But I do also need my time off away from all these and also very much enjoy those little moments!

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  7. That sounds like a really interesting concept if you really have to have wifi on demand at all hours and location. I’m not in that posistion and even turn Wifi off on my phone when I go to bed and even sometimes during the day. Although… when my internet does go down sometimes then I still feel it haha.

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  8. I have project Fi because I live in the boonies and their method of bouncing from one carrier to the next is the only way to get a reliable connection in most places. However, I still find myself without any connection once we get into the cow paddies and peanut fields. I haven’t heard of Link, but I am definitely going to check it out.

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  9. After reading your post, I do be connected all the time due to putting my brand out there. Don’t give me wrong I do give myself at least 2 days without any connections sometimes.

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  10. Ugh, I try so hard to not always be connected but it is next to impossible. Especially when you’re self employed like I am. Whatsapp is my main form of communication and it takes over my life at times.

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  11. That is really happening! This sounds like a great concept that I should try because it seems like very useful to my present job to always be connected.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. LINK sounds really interesting. I like to be connected all the times even if I am not using it. Not connected, for me, means like something is missing, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Now a days it is quite compulsory for each and everyone to stay connected with the world all-time because no one knows when it will become urgent for us.. Thank you for sharing information about the back up that can help us when we are in such disconnected condition…

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