IT major IBM today announced the launch of a technology that will send weather alerts to users even in limited or no Internet connectivity. “Mesh Network Alerts networking technology is designed to notify of potential severe weather events or disasters — even in areas with limited Internet connection, or cellular networks are disrupted due to an outage,” The Weather Company India Sales and Alliances Leader Himanshu Goyal said in a statement. Developed by IBM researchers, the breakthrough mesh technology is available via The Weather Channel app in India. The Weather Channel is a business unit of IBM.
The mesh network technology links other nearby phones to extend the signal to help keep citizens connected and informed. Goyal said that the extreme weather condition in the country has led to casualties across states. “Mesh Network Alerts can help send notification of an upcoming disaster that could help people and their families stay safe. It’s a matter of great pride for us as this technology is first introduced in India,” Goyal said.
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Peer-to-peer technology converts mobile devices into links within the mesh network, allowing devices to ‘talk’ directly to each other without using cell tower infrastructure. “Each smartphone becomes a node that stores the message and securely passes it to the next nearest device, creating a daisy chain to reach more devices and remove the need for a cellular network. While other mesh networks use hot spotting, IBM and The Weather Company chose not to turn devices into individual access points to avoid excessive battery drain,” the statement said.
Goyal said India has the second largest smartphone market in terms of active smartphone users but at times of severe weather the cellular networks get congested, connectivity is intermittent and data access is often limited. “Mesh Network Alerts networking technology is appropriately designed to address these challenges,” Goyal said.