A network performs a 'handoff' when a user with a mobile device moves from the range of one transmitter into another. Increased use of WiFi and mobile phones has aggravated the problems relating to the handoff process. The number of scattered transmitters has also added to the difficulties.
Researchers at MIT have developed four new communications protocols that provide guidance on using built-in motion sensors in mobile devices, leading to better data rates on wireless networks. The protocols employ a variety of built-in motion sensors including accelerometers, GPS receivers and gyros to improve the handoff process.
One protocol selects the nearest transmitter in the mobile device, based on an inferred trajectory. The second selects the bit rate for data transmission, while the third governs the performance of wireless base stations. The last protocol utilizes motion information to evaluate the routing procedures for networks of cars that are wirelessly connected.
The implementation of the protocols improved the throughput of the network by about 50%, during an experiment at MIT. The protocols also helped a moving cell phone to switch transmitters 40% less frequently than with present protocols.