The China-based company announced today about MeshTalk, which is a new ad-hoc wireless technology that lets Oppo handsets with a 3-kilometer range to exchange texts, voice calls, voice messages and much more in the absence of cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity.
“At times, we … encounter extreme situations when there is no network coverage at all — for example, when you just arrive at an airport in a foreign country or when you take an off-road trip or attend a concert, football match, or exhibition,” wrote the China-based company in a press release. “[This] technology offers a solution to such scenarios in which other network connections are unavailable.”
According to the announcement made, MeshTalk allows multiple devices to create decentralized LANs via a signal relay, using a “customized” chipset, as described by Oppo. MeshTalk supports LAN connections wherever Oppo devices are within range of each other. Oppo also claims that its power requirements are such that most of the Oppo devices can maintain a network for more than 72 hours.
In this context, MeshTalk isn’t unlike Apple’s Multipeer Connectivity framework, which enables iPhones to exchange data- for example, pictures via AirDrop without a cellular connection. It’s also not too far off from a proposal made by engineers at Mitre in 2013, who described a “smart” ad-hoc mesh that reconfigured smartphones’ onboard Wi-Fi chips to act as Wi-Fi routers with other nearby smartphones.
Oppo is pitching MeshTalk as a solution for unreliable environments where connectivity is hard to come, like the remote wilderness, and for apps that leverage medium-range data transfer to exchange location and authentication data. To this end, the Chinese-based company said that it plans to further reduce MeshTalk’s power consumption and improve its stability and device capacity by boosting its transmission rate and signal strength.
“I imagine a keyless future in which your smartphone opens your car and connects to payment devices at parking garages — or how the connectivity between smartphones and stores in a shopping mall will help deliver precise indoor navigation and highly personalized marketing,” wrote Oppo. “For example, when you pass by an Oppo store, you will be able to view the latest promotions.” One thing is definitely certain: Mesh networking has captured the imaginations of investors around the world.