Calling All Internet Users (That Means You): Dispatch Is Here to Bring Faster Internet to Your Doorstep
We’re surrounded by an invisible, chaotic matrix of manipulated frequencies every day. WiFi. 2.4 GHz. 5 GHz. 3G. 4G. 123G. But while these connections are all pointing to the same thing -- the all-knowing Internet -- they are working against each other, when they should be working with each other.
These signal bounce into each other, and in the process confuse the masters they serve -- devices, and such things. But what if there was a way to bring all of these signals, all of these connections, and all of these disparate frequencies into cohesion? If you could take a 3 Mbps connection, and add a 10 Mbps connection, and end up with a single 13 Mbps connection?
Well, now there is. It’s called Connectify Dispatch, and I’m personally very excited about this.
Dispatch, a piece of software currently under development, works by taking all available Internet connections and pulling them together into a single point for the computer. It may sound complicated from a technical standpoint -- and it is -- but from a user standpoint the result is simply a faster connection speed without the hassle.
Not to overhype something in the very early stages, but this has the potential of disrupting the entire telecommunications industry. Connections become commoditized and packaged in a new way. Also, the carriers likely won’t be happy about this as it potentially threatens the current stranglehold on the market (which makes me happy)!
Looking at the technological side, it isn’t the type of product that can be whipped up in your spare time on the weekends. Instead, it has taken a team of engineers that have worked with DARPA, the Department of Defense’s advanced research division, and has pushed the edge of technology a little bit forward with robotics work with the US Military.
There are downsides. For one, the company is currently planning to release Dispatch for Windows only. This is a real bummer for me, as I’m deep in the catacombs of the OS X user base. That being said, CEO Alex Gizis has told me that OS X support is in the pipeline, because “we have people demanding that now.” Down the road, Gizis tells me that Android and Linux versions are in the works.
Another downside for the company is convincing people to use it. After all, despite the pain of slower connections, people don’t sit around and think, “If only I could connect to more than one network at a time.” Most people don’t even know the intricacies of networks, let alone the value (and challenge) of connecting to more than one at a time.
Platform support and community outreach withstanding, the pros far outweigh the cons. For one, the company has already tested the software to the point where ten connections can be bridged simultaneously. As the demonstration video shows, the connection went from nearly a dozen low-bandwidth connections, to a single 60+ Mbps connection.
In addition to the technology and utility behind the product, the business model is fairly clear cut. The software is useful enough that it can be sold directly to consumers. Forget paying for a social network that may or may not take off, and which may eventually falter. This technology will be useful so long as there are WiFi connections. Which is to say, for the long-term foreseeable future.
When I asked him what the target market for the software is, Gizis comically responded, “We’re targeting the niche of people who use the Internet.” But joking aside, Gizis does make a good point. Anyone that uses bandwidth intensive services over the Internet has seen the dreaded B-word before (“buffering”). If there’s a future with that word wiped clean, Dispatch may play a big part in bringing it to us.
Right now, the company is raising funds for the project on Kickstarter. And while I’m loathe to link to another Kickstarter campaign, all indications point to this technology being actually disruptive. It may not be a fancy watch, or a walking robotic spider, but it actually solves a pain point that I experience nearly every day.
Even though I’m a user of OS X, and it’s unlikely that I’ll be switching to Windows full-time in the time preceding an OS X launch, I’m still going to back the project. I’d hate to see the technology disappear to the netherworld of the deadpool of startups.
[Image courtesy Connectify]