WeFi is hoping to do for Wi-Fi connectivity what Facebook has done for social networking.
WeFi, a software company headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, and in Tel Aviv, Israel, creates software that can be downloaded for free onto laptops or mobile devices that the company says will enhance Wi-Fi connectivity and provide mobile devices with more powerful connection tools.
Once the software is installed, it begins searching for Wi-Fi hot spots in a user's area and allows them to map all the hot spots in their vicinity through the Google Maps application. The eventual goal, WeFi says, is to create a global map of wireless hot spots that can be used as a reference for members of the WeFi community who want to find Internet access in new locations. In this Q&A with WeFi CEO Zur Feldman, we discuss how WeFi works, how it enables Wi-Fi connectivity, and how the company plans to make money from creating a virtual global Wi-Fi network.
What is WeFi's end-goal?
We basically want to provide and create a virtual global network which is free to allow everyone to get on whenever they choose and to have a service of broadband through Wi-Fi all over world. We want people to be able to use that platform to communicate with friends, and to use applications such as voice to connect with people all over the place without needing to pay any kinds of fees. In short, the end goal is to create a global virtual network based on Wi-Fi.
And how does WeFi plan on creating that network?
We're providing a technological platform that allows people to take advantage of hot spots around the world. We have mapped close to 300,000 hot spots around the world, and we're adding more every single day. We also have a platform for mobile devices that have the ability to connect to Wi-Fi, including the iPhone and the Nokia E65. Our software allows them to use the hot spots as their network.
I want to get a better idea of how this technology works. Essentially, people download software from your website that increases their computers' or wireless devices' ability to find and connect to Wi-Fi hot spots in the area, correct?
Yes, that's part of it. We also have algorithms written into the software that automatically connect your device to the best available hot spot. If, for example, you had a mobile device and you wanted to download an application and there are several hot spots in your area, you could literally walk from one area to another and not lose your connection. We have the ability to connect one Wi-Fi area to the next seamlessly, as long as they have an overlapping range. You can basically have an experience like a cellular phone experience, because we check and test the hot spots automatically, and we are able to connect you without you even noticing.
Additionally, every time someone connects to a hot spot and maps it, we get information from them that gives us all the information about that hot spot and its connectivity. We'll be able to connect you without all the different handshakes: it's like you've been connected before even if you've never been there before. The nice thing about this is that people are actually doing this work for us by mapping all the hot spots in their area.