The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance has awarded a Sustainable Vision Grant to a Georgia Institute of Technology research team to migrate its ad hoc, infrastructure-free wireless communications network to the marketplace. The network, called LifeNet, lets one person share network connectivity with others through their computer and is particularly critical for supplying instant communications connectivity in post-disaster scenarios or in rural and developing areas. LifeNet consists of consumer electronic devices, such as laptops or smartphones, with each device serving as a host and a router at the same time. LifeNet can support incremental expansion or shrinkage by enabling any user to connect and disconnect from the network at will, and it covers areas ranging from a few hundred meters to a few kilometers in diameter. In addition, all devices throughout a LifeNet network can access the Internet if just a single device is connected. LifeNet will next undergo rigorous testing and implementation.
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