World, Can You Here Me?

One major step for Android, one empowered leap for mankind.

I’ve been observing articles and posts on NASA’s use of the Android Platform with Delay-Tolerant Networking Protocol. There have been numerous tweets linking to these articles (actually the same 2 or 3 articles that have been circulating the blogosphere).

I remember attending a workshop in Houston, TX, presented by a Neurotechnologist who was part of a NASA team that studied electromagnetic fields and their effects on the brain’s alpha and theta waves and being “awed” at the types of research involved in this field. It’s the same kind of “awe” that was illicited when I read the articles on NASA’s use with the Android OS.

Not to be confused with NASA’s iPhone App, Android has not just gone international but interplanetary, as well.

In 1998 Vinton Gray Cerf (Vint Cerf), more commonly known as the “father of the internet”, started a project with a team in NASA that would establish an “interplanetary extension to the internet” using his (co-founded) TCP/IP Protocol. Two main issues arose however: the speed of light and celestial motion. Because the protocol depended on a reliable and continuous connection, there was just no way of getting around these two factors. After many not-so-convincing trials, the old TCP/IP Protocol was abandoned and the DTN (Delay-Tolerant Networking) Protocol was created.

Vint Cerf

DTN is not dependent on a continuous network connection. When an interruption or delay is apparent, the DTN protocol makes sure each node holds on to its packets of data until they can be safely transmitted. This protocol has had successful testing during the past year in an interplanetary environment and now Vint Cerf and his team want to implement the DTN Protocol here on earth.

Here’s where the “awe” in Awesome Android comes in.

The protocol has already been added to Android’s open source mobile stack as an application platform! This is great news not just for the mobile industry but for people that use and rely on mobile devices to get through their work day & play time. It also brings seamless, mobile communication to a more efficient global scale. It would make data gathering and data distribution in real-time mode, more reliable.

Hmmm, just as all this sounds so good, the opposite is just as profound. It would also make tracking data, tracking users … that much more efficient.

Interplanetary Interweb Androids



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