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WiFi HaLow Is Promising But Complicated

By | Networking | No Comments

Changes to the 802.11 WiFi standard don’t come along very often. When they do, they are usually accompanied by great hype and lofty promises of incredible speeds that may or may not eventually be realized. The recently announced 802.11ah standard is different, and is newsworthy for several other reasons.

A quick refresh on mainstream WiFi frequencies is in order before we talk about 802.11ah. We’re living in a wireless world that primarily runs on 802.11n and .11ac. The .11n standard works in both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, while .11ac by definition only works in 5 GHz. The overwhelming majority of .11ac access points also have a 2.4 GHz .11n radio onboard, and both bands are wildly popular right now for everything from smartphones to laptops to the assorted gadgetry that increasingly comes equipped with wireless networking capabilities. And that gadgetry brings us to 802.11h.

Named HaLow by the Wi-Fi Alliance, 802.11ah works in 900 Mhz. This frequency might sound odd to the uninitiated, but the original 802.11 standard actually allowed for 900 MHz and Infrared, though neither really went very far because they are both quite slow by comparison to what can be done in the higher bands for WLAN applications. So, HaLow is slower, and works in a somewhat exotic frequency. Both of these characteristics are what make 802.11ah potentially a very good thing.

At the same output power, lower frequencies will travel farther than higher frequencies. This is just a page out of Physics 101, and it plays into the promise of 11ah. Some of us who implement wireless bridging in tough environments know that at times, 900 MHz can also penetrate objects that block 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. There are wireless Internet providers who use 900 MHz extensively from towers to client premises equipment because the frequency will go through trees, buildings, and other objects. You won’t get blazing fast throughput, but you will benefit from usable, reliable signal.

This makes for a compelling story for 802.11ah and its use in the Internet of Things realm, where connected objects may be in nooks and crannies that conventional WiFi just can’t reach. But as with all new things in wireless, there is always more to the story.

Tips For Effective Creative Design

By | Creative | No Comments

Creative design is not just about the latest trends and fads – it draws upon a wealth of experience gathered over the lifetime of the team, market insights and knowing how to get the best out of the medium – be it print, online or something more innovative!

Sure – we all love pretty pictures, but just because your designer can keep their colouring inside the lines doesn’t mean that it directly appeals to your target audience and meets your business requirements. You should always be mindful of the purpose of the creative design produced for you and how it will help you achieve this. We’ve put together a few thoughts and tips to help you get the most out of your next project and make it as effective as possible.

Put personal tastes to one side.

How well do you really know your target market? This isn’t necessarily your ‘ideal’ customer – you know, the one that has loads of money and is in love with your product to the point of infatuation and will recommend it until the cows come home! We are maybe identifying the customer that needs a-little nudge in the right direction – the one that needs a-little persuasion to buy into your product or service. Whatever your target audience is – be it the evangelist or tough sell – make sure both you and your creative team have a good understanding of their needs, desires and expectations.

What appeals to you may not necessarily engage your customers – that’s a tough fact to swallow for some clients. You really have to put yourself in the shoes of your customers – identify their desires and priorities, and ensure that your creative communication taps into this.

5 questions to ask yourself during the design process.

Some key questions to ask yourself at the during the design process are:

  • What is the primary aim of the piece of work – and does it address this?
  • How does this improve the appeal of my product/service?
  • Does this sit well with other material that’s been produced – is it recognisable as belonging to your brand?
  • Does this communicate effectively with my audience?
  • How does this work in the environment where the piece will appear?

These are not just questions for you as a client. We challenge every design decision we make before it’s presented to the client – be it choice of colour, style of imagery or language used. Every element of what we produce can be justified by sound reasoning to guarantee it hits the mark every time and offers you the best return for your investment.

7 Awesome Advantages of ELearning

By | elearning | No Comments
e-learning2Those of us who are actively involved in the elearning are well aware of the advantages elearning can provide to an organization, and to the individual, and in the past year or so, these advantages are becoming recognized among the general public.

The flexible nature of elearning means that we are likely to encounter it in everyday life. Some people seek it out in for additional learning opportunities, and for career advancement. While others may accidentally stumble upon it when watching a short training on their smartphone about their latest application.

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