India’s Weather Channel has deployed an innovative new application based on technology provided by IBM.
IBM’s Mesh Network allows Indian users of the Weather Channel app to get updates on critical weather events or disasters when Internet and cellular services are interrupted.
Mesh network technology was developed by IBM researchers.It allows cellular phones to transmit alerts directly to other phones without sending the data to a base station as phones usually do.Each phone in the network extends the signal, allowing citizens to stay connected and informed.
"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," said Weather Company India’s Himanshu Goyal.
Goyal said extreme weather conditions have led to casualties in India, and hoped that IBM’s new technology could help keep the country safe. "Mesh Network Alerts can help send notification of an upcoming disaster that could help people and their families stay safe,” he said.
IBM’s Mesh Network technology links mobile phones and other devices into links within a peer-to-peer network.The phones can communicate weather alerts directly without relying upon an infrastructure of linked cell towers.
"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,” IBM said in a statement. “While other mesh networks use hot spotting, IBM and Weather Company chose not to turn devices into individual access points to avoid excessive battery drain," the statement said.