Wi-Fi: The Truth About Its Impact on Health at Home

With smart devices, wearables, and phones ubiquitous at work and at home, safety becomes an issue. Most of us are exposed to Wi-Fi 24/7; from the moment Alexa wakes us up, to the time we call it a day. While it is true that routers are further away from a person’s head than cell phones are during a call, Public Health England (PHE formerly the Health Protection Agency) claims that the dose of radiation received from living for a year in a location with a Wi-Fi hotspot is equivalent to being on a 20-minute call. As early as 2013, it released guidelines on exposure to WIFI. When you think about it, our workstation at home, with Wi-Fi running uninterrupted, is a virtual, silent intruder to our health

“People using wi-fi, or those in the proximity of wi-fi equipment, are exposed to the radio signals it emits and some of the transmitted energy in the signals is absorbed in their bodies.”      – Public Health England

What is WIFI

Both WIFI and cell phone electromagnetic radiation are classified as radio waves that operate in the 2 to 5 GHz range or in the microwave portion of this spectrum. These are of lower frequency than the ionizing Ultraviolet rays found in visible light. UV contains the minimum energy needed to cause breaks in the DNA – which can lead to cancer. That said, there are still grave doubts whether cumulative exposure have an impact at home, specially in nurseries monitored by smart devices.

What is the state of WIFI today? Park Associates in its “360 View: Entertainment Services in U.S. Broadband Households” 2017 report, revealed that 71% of U.S. households have WIFI or Apple Air access. These homes have 45% more connected consumer electronic devices and 30% more computing devices – clearly significantly more exposure to EMF than those without WIFI. Worldwide, 25% of homes have WIFI access and roughly 4 Billion WIFI devices in use. Travelers and commuters also insist on WIFI on-the-go. In fact, studies show “complimentary WiFi came in second only to cost when considering booking a hotel stay.”

“Wi-Fi continues to expand as the technology of choice for traditional home,
government, schools, and business networks, as well as in industries such as
smart energy, transportation, healthcare, and entertainment sectors.”
– Wi-Fi Org (Wi-Fi® and Health/Safety)

Effects On Health

The WHO (World Health Organization), and other health agencies worldwide have set standards to ensure the safety of WIFI and devices run by it. These standards are science-based and to date, there is no irrefutable evidence that WIFI is a health risk. However, many question who developed the “limits to exposure” and are suspicious of the continued safety of “compliant devices” that conform to internationally-agreed guidelines.

Ways to Limit Impact on Health

WIFI has been called the modern day Cigarette as many consider it to be habit-forming. It may be a difficult habit to control because we had gotten so dependent on the Internet to help us manage work, life, business, play, and relationships. In spite of the “seal of good housekeeping” accorded to WIFI and devices, 35% of the population in developed countries suffer from mild symptoms of electrohypersensitivity while 3-8% developed serious symptoms. You don’t need to have one at home to feel the effects of WIFI since it is practically everywhere: in schools, office buildings, restaurants, hotels, planes, ad libitum. The effects may be insidious and affect melatonin levels first. No wonder we have more people suffering from insomnia, poor concentration, migraine, ADD and the like.

Tips to Minimize the Risk

  1. Use a WIFI Router Guard

2. Keep the Router out of the bedroom,

3. Turn the router off when sleeping, and

4. Learn to do more things offline (not as convenient, but safer).

 

 

New York turns phone booths to WiFi hotspots

Payphones have now become a space muncher ever since the world was introduced to affordable mobile phones. What used to be the primary means of communication whilst you were out, now seems like a big obstacle in the streets.

But in New York, the mode of communication in yesteryears has now become a new and much beloved ally for commuters and pedestrians.

Last Wednesday, New York City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications unveiled their very first payphone that serves as a WiFi hotspot. So those big and seemingly useless contraptions now serve a purpose and that is to provide New Yorkers FREE Internet!

About 10 payphones were converted into this technology as part of their pilot program. Other WiFi payphones will be rolled out sometime in the future. New York has 12,360 payphones all over the City.

New York promised through a statement that “no personal information will be gathered and no advertising will be presented as part of the pilot program.”

This means that you are secured for the remainder of the testing phase of Wifi. What about when they finally give it the go signal?

Chief Information and Innovation Officer Rahul N. Merchant said, “Expanding public access to broadband technology across the five boroughs, be it wired or wireless, is at the heart of the Bloomberg Administration’s efforts to promote greater digital inclusion for New Yorkers.”

Do you like the conversion of the phone booth into a Wifi spot then?

Image Source: thenyc.info

Ericson acquires BelAir

It’s now Ericsson’s turn to buy a company out.

After the company sold their shares to Sony last week leading to the disbandment of Sony Erricson, the company announced that they have bought BelAir Networks, a WiFi technology company.

This developed after reports say that wireless connectivity has soared in the last two years. This doesn’t come as a surprise since tablets and smartphones are now popular these days.

According to Pal Zarandy, “With this acquisition Ericsson will be able to add the WiFi functionality to its micro base stations at a low incremental cost, making its emergin small-cell cellular infrastructure offerings more appealing.”

Internet service providers see WiFi as the most crucial thing to help them cope with wireless data traffic. They are estimating a 26-fold increase in the next five years.

President and CEO of BelAir’s peer Ruckus Wireless, “The Ericsson acquisition of BelAir is a harbinger of things to come, marking the beginning of a period of M&A activity in the telecoms equipment sector. There is a huge land grab taking place in the wireless industry right now as mobile operators try to solve the issues of capacity and coverage, looking to smarter WiFi technology.”

Image source: updatenews.ca

Google-Motorola to get the green light from UK, US regulators

It seems like Google will be getting the nod from European and U.S. regulators this week for the Google-Motorola merger. The acquisition was announced August last year and cost Google $12.5 billion. Despite the impending approval, it highly likely that they would continue to face scrutiny due to licensing problems with smartphone patents.

Mobile phone developers are battling it out in courts all over the world over who owns what over patent technologies. It has reached the point wherein phones from certain companies have been barred from selling in some countries due to infringement issues.

According to American Antitrust Institute President Bert Foer, “It’s kind of a Cold War being played out here. We’re watching a form of warfare play out in which the system makes no sense but leads the players to mutually arm themselves with these missiles that they can utilize in order to achieve mutually assured destruction.”

Motorola currently has patents over online video and Wi-Fi.

According to Robert Barr, executive director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, “Google needs those patents because it is fighting a war. They have to get approval.”

Microsoft and Apple have agreed that no use of injunctions without exception for standards essential patents they own. “Standard essential” means that they view it as a core to the interoperability of a technology and are licensed under fair and reasonable terms.

Wi-Fi, a must have entertainment device feature

Wi-Fi used to be a feature on devices and not a must have. It used to be just an add-on that spikes up the price of the gadget that you are purchasing.

A report from NPD In-Stat said that home entertainment devices that has Wi-Fi are expected to sell about 600 million units by 2015.

Vice President of research of In-Stat, Frank Dickson, said that this is because Wi-Fi is now a must in all entertainment devices.

He said, “It is important to note though that Wi-Fi is growing from being simply about getting content from a network to devices, to sharing content between devices, as Wi-Fi evolves from being a network-centric connectivity standard to one that enables peer-to-peer  connectivity.”

“New innovations such as Wi-Fi display and Wi-Fi Direct will fundamentally change the way that content is moved and shared in the home,” he adds.

The report includes all gadgets from digital picture frames to your Blu-ray players.

Though the report includes television sets, he says that consumers still bypass the Wi-Fi feature in their TV purchases.

Samsung rolls out wi-fi surveillance camera and baby monitor

Samsung is upping up its video business. With its InTouch Skype HD Videophone for TV’s, the company is set to roll out a couple of their video-monitoring cameras. The WiFi IP SmarCam and WiFi Video Baby Monitor is set to shake up the video security business. This type of security is the peace of mind recommended by nurses and care takers, you will always know how your baby is doing, no matter what.

The two cameras are very simple to set up and is targeted to hit the shelves by March this year and is pegged at $149.99.

The company said that, “users simply locate the WPS or the WiFi Protected Setup button on the device and their home router. And with a click of each, the two will automatically sunc and the camera will be added to the network in less than 30 seconds.”

Once connected to your network, you can then create an account on SamsunsSmartCam.com where you can register your camera and have the ability to view real-time footage from the device.

What’s good about this is that you don’t have to install any software.

Samsung also added that, “unlike traditional IP cameras which host video on a remote video server, the Samsung SmartCam leverages peer-to-peer technology for an enhanced experience.”

“With peer-to-peer technology, Samsung makes a one-time verification-or handshake-between the SmartCam and the device that will be used to view the footage. Once that connection is made, the SmartCam is then able to stream directly to the consumer’s computer or mobile device without having to go through a remote video server that could experience significant delays with increased used.”

Image source: EndGadget.com

Kindle Fire problem: no WiFi?

Kindle Fire may be soaring high, selling 850,000 units in Amazon alone and almost rivalling iPad in terms of units sold. However, the company is not without problems.

The recently-released Kindle Fire WiFi only units are having difficulty in connecting to wireless networks and customers have been complaining about the problem. Some users have reported that they can connect to their routers but not to the Internet.

About 170 individuals have aired the problem in a Kindle Fire forum.

One user noted that, “have just opened Kindle Fire. Can connect to wifi but no internet.” She added that, “all other wireless devices in home are working fine connecting to internet. Signal is strong. Have turned “Wireless Networking” on and off several times. Still showing X on wifi icon after obtaining IP address and no internet connection.”

Some users have said that when they downloaded the new Kindle Fire update, Version 6.1, have fixed the connection problem. But some are still having difficulty in connecting even after they have installed the new version.

Amazon has released the latest version, 6.2, but they didn’t say that this version could provide a fix to the connection problem.