Did you know that your ability to binge-watch your favorite show on Netflix or stream your favorite songs on Spotify is thanks in part to an Australian invention? That’s right – Wi-Fi, the wireless technology that allows us to connect to the internet without cords or cables, was partly invented by a team of researchers at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
In the 1990s, a group of researchers at CSIRO’s Radiophysics Laboratory, led by Dr. John O’Sullivan, were working on a way to use radio waves to transmit data over short distances. Their breakthrough came in the form of a method for transmitting data over multiple frequencies simultaneously, which they called “Wireless LAN” or “WLAN.” This technology formed the basis of what we now know as Wi-Fi.
The researchers at CSIRO were not the only ones working on wireless communication technology at the time. However, their contributions were unique in that they focused on the use of radio waves in the unlicensed frequency band, which allowed for greater flexibility and range than other methods at the time.
In 1996, CSIRO patented their technology and began collaborating with companies such as Wi-LAN Inc. to develop and commercialize Wi-Fi products. The first Wi-Fi products hit the market in the early 2000s, and since then, Wi-Fi has become an essential part of our daily lives. From streaming music and movies to video conferencing and online gaming, Wi-Fi has transformed the way we use and access the internet.
CSIRO’s contributions to Wi-Fi technology don’t stop there. In recent years, CSIRO researchers have continued to make significant contributions to wireless communications research and development, including advancements in antenna design and wireless sensor networks.
So, the next time you connect to Wi-Fi, take a moment to appreciate the contributions of the researchers at CSIRO. Without their innovative work, we might still be tethered to our devices by cords and cables.