Ten uses of WiFi you probably never thought of

Isn’t the world a magical place? Millions and millions of bits of data are flying around our heads as I write this through wireless internet gamma rays of some sort that are like little flying monkeys with garbage cans that hold blobs of information. Okay, I admit, I’m not a technical person.  My main understanding of WiFi is that it is a simple, fast and easy way to get my devices hooked up to the internet while not worrying about cords or wires and not being anchored to one spot. It’s also a perfect way to connect devices like tablets and smart phones to your computer to transfer files or even use files from one device on another device. But beyond the obvious, I was rather surprised to learn that there are far more uses for WiFi than just these. How many? At least 10:

1: Did you know that you can use your smartphone as a remote control. Wait, what? Yes, it’s true, you can use your smartphone as a remote control. There are several apps and products that can help make that happen. Read about them here.


2: Uploading pictures from your digital camera directly to your computer is now a reality. This can be done? No wires? No SD card swapping? Yes! With an Eye-fi wireless SD card you can bypass all of the fiddling and go directly to transferring pictures.


3: Want to operate your own personal robot? That’s right. You can pick yourself up the Erector Spykee Robot and control it over your WiFi connection. What can you do with this robot you ask? “…snap photos, do video surveillance, make VoIP calls, and play audio, all while controlled over WiFi from your computer. Spykee even returns to its dock for recharging when its battery gets low.” Now you know.


4: Step on a scale and have your weight sent to your computer or smartphone via WiFi. What? Can you believe it? Yes! Withings makes a WiFi scale! Why? Why not? With so many people keeping track of their bodily statistics online or on their computers, you may as well have a scale that is linked up too!


5: Interested in watching your house get robbed while you are on vacation in Venice? No problem. The FOSCAM WiFi Security Camera connected to your computer by WiFi is just the tool you will need to monitor your house over your smartphone from anywhere on the planet.


6: According to an article on the Extreme Tech website, WiFi signals can be used to see through walls. These ultra smart dudes at University College London have figured out how to use WiFi signals as a radar system to see what is on the other side of solid, non-see- through things, like the aforementioned walls! You can read all about it and be completely amazed here.


7: Through the magic of WiFi, you can wave your hands around in the air and make things work. Yes, WiFi and the Wisee application can help you work just about anything you want to hook up to a wireless system by using the same technology used for Xbox Kinect. Read all about it and start planning your system right now.


8: Want your own drone to fly around the neighbourhood? You can get the Parrot AR Drone and run it using your iPhone. How cool is that? Let me answer that for you. It’s very cool. You can mount cameras on the drone and take incredible pictures from an overhead perspective, and do all kinds of other interesting stuff, limited only by your creativity, and relevant laws.


9: Want a cool DIY project for the summer? Create your own internet radio using an old router and WiFi connection. Just follow what this guy did and you can be listening to any of the thousands upon thousands of internet radio stations while your computer is running elsewhere in your house!


10: Yes, of course, you’ve been waiting for this last one and you will be happy to know it does exist: A toilet that you can control via WiFi. Of all it’s amazing features, like an opening and closing lid, music player and deodorizer, you can also track the number of times you use it. Now that’s amazing.


11: This is extra, but 11 was my hockey number, and, heck, I almost scored a goal while wearing it so it deserves an appearance. Internet hotspots can be hit or miss, but not anymore, thanks to Shaw Go WiFi.  Shaw Internet customers enjoy free access to over 35,000 hotspots across Western Canada (and growing). You login once, and whatever device you’re using – laptop, phone, whatever -, will automatically find and connect to every hotspot from then on. There’s even a free app to find the nearest hotspot, the WiFi Fiinder app, which is available for download at all participating app stores.