updated 05:50 pm EDT, Fri June 17, 2011
Wireless dongle is royalty free
Qi Software has begun offering a USB dongle that provides wireless networking based on open hardware standards for those determined to avoid proprietary formats. The atusb is a wireless transceiver that conforms to the IEEE 802.15.4 and 6lowpan network and packet standards. The device has a typical data rate of just 250Kbps with a range of up to 10 meters, and may reach speeds of 2Mbps at a reduced range.
Most wireless networking today is either via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Both of these standards carry with them royalty costs that have to be paid to one or more patent holders. One company, WiLAN, has been rigorously protecting its property rights since 2007. Other vendors laying claim to patent protection include Banspeed and Mosaid.
Qi's dongle differs in that its technology is, supposedly, royalty free. Developers have argued that the wireless is worth the tradeoff since it keeps the licensing costs down and lets users freely modify the hardware or firmware.
The price for the dongle is £25 ($41). [via The Register]