Phil Belanger is responsible for Wi-Fi: Not solely, but he's one of the most veteran among industry veterans, and was involved in picking its name. (Note: Wi-Fi really doesn't stand for wireless fidelity or anything at all. Ask Phil.) He co-wrote a document that formed the basis of 802.11, helped found the Wi-Fi Alliance, and served as its first chair. He's worked for many Wi-Fi related firms, including Wayport, Vivato, and BelAir. He recently amicably left BelAir after a decade on Internet time working on startups. As a result, he has been able to catch his breath and reflect a bit.
Phil offers this two-page commentary (downloadable in PDF form) on the future of IEEE 802.11s, the in-progress mesh standards task group. Phil maintains that 802.11s will have little impact on outdoor mesh deployments, and that its real utility will be in providing a basis for home devices to intercommunicate and relay data--every client will be an access point with no extra configuration or fuss, in contrast to Wireless Distribution System (WDS), which is a relatively undocumented and variably supported element found in the original 802.11b spec. Phil notes that more mesh in the house means less signal power is needed, allowing more spectrum reuse and less interference among devices and neighbors.