Intel plans to give the modem a comeback

Intel wants to dust off the ancient modem technology to help connect wifi devices to routers.

Researchers working at Intel’s Applications Lab in Portland, Oregon think that bleeping audio tones of a modem could make connecting devices to wi-fi routers easier.

It could be used to let wireless devices without a keyboard to be connected to a wireless router without the difficulty of punching in a code on a remote or small keypad. Intel’s Marc Meylemans and Gary Martz told New Scientist that the unauthorised wireless device audibly emits a uniquely identifying secret code.

According to their patent US 2011/0277023 once the router hears the code, it lets the device to connect, or at least allows you to control whether it does.

It does not mean that you have to put up with that screech you got from your modem in the 1980s. In fact, Intel said you can make it any unique combination of eight sounds, which means you could play snippets of music or clicks instead, to make it significantly less annoying.

While it sounds like it could be set for security, it has not been checked for that yet. It is more to simplify the set-up of the many new wi-fi devices on the market.