On flights of fancy
Throughout history, visionaries have been underappreciated, at least at the moment they first shared their visions. Think back to 1961, when President John F. Kennedy declared that the U.S. not only would beat the Soviet Union to the moon, but that it would do so within the decade. At the time, the Soviet space program was light years ahead of NASA. To many, Kennedy was, at best, an unrealistic dreamer; at worst, daft. Nevertheless, in 1969, NASA made Kennedy look like a genius when it landed Neil Armstrong.
Others have dreamed big, with mixed results. Certainly, the Rev. Martin Luther King, when he gave his “I have a dream” speech in 1963, believed that race relations in the U.S. would be further along four decades later. Still, there is no disputing the great progress that has been made — if you have doubts about this, read “The Children,” by noted historian and journalist David Halberstam, an eye-opening account of the Civil Rights movement — and King’s well-deserved status as one of this country’s greatest visionaries.
I thought about Kennedy and King as I read this edition’s cover story by MRT senior writer Donny Jackson about the technology being developed by xG Technology, which purportedly transmits broadband data over long distances using little or no dedicated spectrum and very little power. It does so by using single-cycle waveforms to transmit the data, which is received in a manner that virtually eliminates the noise floor, allowing communication at very low power levels. As Jackson reports, should xG be correct in its vision, its technology will be disruptive to exponential degrees.
If you think it can’t be done, you’re not alone. Traditional radio frequency theory states that thousands of RF cycles must be modulated for every bit of information that must be transmitted. Already the naysayers are lining up, stopping just short of calling xG’s Joe Bobier, who invented the company’s technology, a crackpot.
That’s the type of word two gentlemen heard a century ago when they tried to accomplish something that hadn’t been done before, and which many at the time thought would be impossible to pull off. Undaunted, they pushed forward with their flight of fancy and eventually changed the course of history and the way the world operates. Their names were Wilbur and Orville Wright. If Joe Bobier is right, his impact on wireless communications could rival the effect the Wright Brothers had on transportation.