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Phi: a wireless re-routing card that puts you in control of the airwaves (video)

Sharif Sakr

For all the talk of convergence in mobile devices, there's relatively little chatter about the coming together of wireless signals themselves. In other words, why should we have a separate device to interact with each type of wireless signal? And so, with that intriguing question, begins the pitch for a new device call Phi. It's a $750 antennae-laden PCIe card that slots into a desktop and gathers up wireless signals that are flying around the home -- so long as they have a frequency below 4GHz and don't involve bank-busting neutrinos. The card then allows custom apps to re-direct those transmissions as you like: potentially acting as a "base station" so you can make free calls from your cell phone, or receiving over-the-air HD transmissions which you can play on your tablet, or doing whatever else hobbyists and devs can cook up. Phi is still version 0.1 and Linux-only while the startup behind it -- Per Vices -- looks for a Kinect-style blossoming of third-party interest, but with nothing less than a deity-like command over the domestic ether on offer, how could it ever fail?

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