Airbnb patent: Upcoming solution for mobile connectivity problems while you are travelling

posted in: Travel | 2

Airbnb’s patent could solve one the most frustrating problems for a traveller. Read on to know how.

When I was a kid, there were three basic needs for life; food, clothing and shelter. But in this new era, there is one more addition to the list and that is internet, do you agree?

We are so heavily dependent on the internet that if the connection is weak or if it’s not working, you would find yourself banging your head on the wall.

But this problem gets worse when you are travelling and especially to those places where there is lack of good internet connectivity. You cannot find directions, your maps don’t load, you cannot google to find places near you and the list goes on. So annoying, isn’t it?

But to solve this issue, Airbnb is working on it’s new patented product called “Beam Modem”.

On 27th April 2017, Airbnb has filed the patent to launch this device which works on Beam Device Architecture and in it’s exact words it is “A communication system which provides access to services when direct Internet connectivity is not practical.”

First look of Airbnb’s patent

Thanks to Alex Blackstock!  He is one of the Airbnb employees and published a photo of this device on LinkedIn.


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How it started

In Dec 2016, Airbnb’s CEO had tweeted,  if Airbnb were to launch anything in 2017, what would that be. There were a series of requests to Mr. Chesky; by many people who were asking for a strong wifi connectivity.

It seems, this Airbnb’s new patent could be the result of that tweet.

How the Beam Device Architecture works

As per the patent filed by Airbnb, this architecture has four nodes: your device which can be a phone/ tablets/smart watch, the Beam Modem, Beam API server and external internet network.


Airbnb patent


Your device and the Beam modem are connected via short range transceivers. The beam modem connects to the Beam API server via a cellular transceiver fitted in the beam device.

As explained in the Airbnb’s patent, you can request for information using your own device (mobile) and this information would be transferred to the Beam modem using short range transceivers.

The Beam modem then sends this request to Beam API server which eventually connects to the external internet network and fetches the information for you. The API server then reduces the size of the data and this data is received to your device through the Beam Modem.

This way, you can access the internet when there is no internet connection on your device. You are solved! 🙂

Also, before the trip when you have a good connectivity, you can store the necessary data like area maps, restaurant location, point of interest information etc. This device connects to internet, stores all the required data on the API server in pre-cached format.

Now, when you are travelling and want some information, you send your request to Beam modem. API server already has pre-cached information stored for you. It just has to deal with some new information if there is any. This way, the Beam Modem could provide more information to your device and that too pretty quick.

Power of technology, you know!

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Although, when reached for comment, a AirBnB’s spokesperson did not give clear instructions on it’s intention on this patent. We still don’t know if Airbnb would actually launch this product for public and if they will, we are not sure when the product will be available in the market.

But AirBnB is a company which has $31 billion net worth and is working on various patents for better user experience. If it could actually come up with what it’s patent is hoping to achieve, it would really be a revolutionary change in the travel industry. This device would solve the most frustrating problem of internet connectivity for every traveller.

But from your perspective, do you think this Airbnb’s patent would actually change the way we travel?


2 Responses

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