Mesh technology has been around for a very long time. It has only recently entered into the mainstream recently due to it being used in some unique ways. With the recent Hong Kong protests, it has made the news and made people aware of its existence.
In the case of the protestors, they were able to use the mesh network to organize without the need for the internet. It is a complex technology that has finally caught up to its potential due to advances in WPAN technology.
Essentially, the mesh is a way of using mobile signals to interconnect devices. It’s almost like a radio signal that gets picked up by a device and then sent along to another within range. A mass of people essentially forms a network that allows signals to be sent without any need for public wifi.
In this article, we will go over several real use cases in which mesh may be of help to you.
Advantages of mesh networks
Now that networks don’t need to be physically connected, mobile mesh networks are able to work. Here are some of the advantages of this type of system.
- No downtime – If one device fails, the network can still carry on. There are so many devices in use that one loss cannot bring down the network. The signal will still continue to pass to other devices.
- Less infrastructure – There is the very little infrastructure needed to keep a strong network functioning. This is as cost-effective as it is fast.
- Fewer data limits – With multiple devices in use sending data, the network can handle much higher amounts of data. The network is decentralized for fewer bottlenecks.
Disadvantages of a mesh network
There are downsides to everything and the mesh network is no different. It may not be in your best interest to use the mesh network so here are some cons to keep in mind.
- Potential latency issues – With nodes being spread out in a low power area, there may be some issues with data being delayed. The time it takes for data to go from a node to a gateway can take longer. A costly upgrade would be required.
- Increase in power consumption – Each device, or node, is responsible both for sending and receiving data or messages. This means that it requires more power than is typical per device to work. This could create a strain on battery-powered devices.
How to mesh technology can be applied
The most obvious area is in a humanitarian crisis. During natural disasters, there is usually no internet and communication is impacted.
In a more business application, the mesh can be used in cases where marketing can be more direct right to a particular device.
And in sectors where safety and health regulations are required, mesh technology can enable easier communication that has to happen even when there is no internet. When messages need to be sent and received, there can’t be any risk of a network going down.