February 19, 2014
Internet Innovator Steve Perlman Unveils New Wireless Technology
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Steve Perlman can’t be kept down. While his OnLive video game system failed to take off – he was forced to shut it down only to rehire a skeleton crew for a new version of the company that was developing the open source console – he is back with a new venture.
Perlman, who previously helped create QuickTime when he worked at Apple; and later went on to launch the businesses behind WebTV, Moxi and facial capture technology Mova, has announced the launch of a new company called Artemis Networks. It is working to develop technology dubbed pCell, which could be used to speed up wireless data, especially in congested areas.
Perlman actually disclosed this technology a few years ago as DIDO, but this week announced that it is ready for launch, almost. Perlman further sees pCell – or personal cell technology – as a successor to LTE (Long Term Evolution), the current high-speed wireless technology that is used in many 4G mobile devices.
VentureBeat reported that Perlman further hopes that pCell could “revive his reputation as a tech visionary.”
According to a report in Bloomberg Businessweek, the serial innovator has been showing off iPhones, Surface tablets and even TVs that have been streaming massive files – including a 4K UltraHD stream of the Netflix original series House of Cards – over the pCell equipment.
The exact details of this technology haven’t been revealed, but it has been reported that Perlman utilizes 10MHz of wireless spectrum, which is somewhat limited compared to the average carrier’s allocation for streaming of video content. Perlman contends that this streaming is impossible with regular cellular network technology.
This proof of concept demo showed that his technology can handle it and more importantly that it is compatible with existing LTE supported devices.
“That will shock people,” Perlman said in an interview to Bloomberg Businessweek. “It means we have hundreds of millions of devices out there that are ready to go.”
The timing of this is also notable in that mobile data demands have doubled in the past year and, according to Venture Beat, are expected to grow by 25 times by 2020. This could far outpace the physical limits of conventional cellular technology. Currently, major areas including New York, Chicago and San Francisco among others are facing mobile congestion.
The next step for Perlman is getting this technology into the real world. Bloomberg added that Artemis Networks is now in the process of putting pCell transmitters on about 350 rooftops in San Francisco, and that the Silicon Valley entrepreneur maybe be looking to forge relationships with a mobile carrier or even technology companies such as Google or Microsoft.
He hopes to get a commercial version of the service running by the end of this year, and also looks to build a data center, where servers could handle the algorithms to handle the wireless stream aimed at each device.
“We’ll do San Francisco first and then do New York, Chicago, Dallas, and other congested cities,” he told Bloomberg Businessweek. “We believe this is the largest increase in capacity in the history of wireless technology. It’s like the wireless equivalent of fiber-optic cables.”