Digital connectivity is becoming as important as utilities like water. For example, travel to a foriegn country, and suddenly you are cut off in public spaces. The only option is to break out the paper map and travel books, like living in a pre-internet age.
Newly founded company iPavement is set to change all this with their wireless connectivity sidewalk. Replacing sections of a public sidewalk in Madrid, Spain. Sections of pavement 15.75" x 15.75" x 2.76" (inches) will be replaced with iPavement's 24kg tiles. Inside will house a microcontroller dishing out 801.11s WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1. Each tile will consume 1000W and dish out up to 5GB at any one time. The onboard Viacities OS (2.0, Linux based) will be able to shell out the data to all popular operating systems and their respected browsers.
How open and free this connectivity will end up is still in debate. What is clear is cloud based services from the manufacturer is included within the OS (ViaMaps, ViaCoupons, etc). Languages, for apps, only support English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Two versions of the tiles bring a standard, always on, connection or one that senses vibration to increase bandwidth (and advertisement stream). The tiles can withstand -10 to 45 degrees Celsius while operating, -20 degrees when off. connectivity can be maintained up to 20 meters from each tile. With a radius like that, it wouldn't take many iPavement tiles to cover a city block (about 16 per block).
Useful and unobtrusive technology like iPavement's tiles is a perfect example of the future of digital connectivity. Travelling will be almost stress free when we know where to go.
iPavement tiles (via iPavement)