With connected social, local and mobile applications growing at an explosive pace, Wi-Fi will soon include a new capability to make it easier for users to discover nearby devices, applications, and information before making a Wi-Fi connection. The solution, to be Wi-Fi CERTIFIED in products later this year, is called Wi-Fi Aware.
The “neighbor awareness” technology behind Wi-Fi Aware operates continuously in the background, sending very small messages to enable service discovery for a wide range of applications.
Wi-Fi Aware-certified devices will discover before connecting, further improving Wi-Fi’s convenience for social applications such as gaming, peer-to-peer messaging, and media sharing, as well as location-specific services such as proximity assessment, contextual notifications, and offers. The user may then launch an application, which will connect via Wi-Fi Direct® or traditional Wi-Fi to use the service.
“We know users want to use Wi-Fi as much as possible for social and local applications, and Wi-Fi Aware is an exciting breakthrough that makes it easier to know what interesting services are nearby before making a connection,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. “We’re excited about how Wi-Fi Aware will transform the experience of initiating proximity-based services, and its potential to enable a range of peer-to-peer service experiences.”
The introduction of Wi-Fi Aware certification comes at a time when smartphones are overtaking feature phones and the increased capabilities of these devices are creating a burgeoning mobile application market. As the mobile ecosystem evolves, Wi-Fi is evolving alongside it to enable a new breed of innovative applications built on proximity-based information that will bring significant advantages to mobile devices and a personalized experience to the user based on his or her preferences.
Wi-Fi Aware in action
Wi-Fi Aware is designed to work well in crowded environments and indoors, and to minimize power consumption. Applications on a mobile device will use Wi-Fi Aware both to offer and to find services on other devices. The user may then “opt-in” to initiate a connection to the discovered device, often without using an internet connection.
The value of Wi-Fi Aware comes alive in social, local and mobile applications. Apps themselves will leverage the technology in Wi-Fi Aware-certified devices to discover nearby counterparts offering valuable services. For example, a user may download a shopping application which leverages Wi-Fi Aware to find nearby availability of the user’s preferred brands. In another example, devices using a jukebox application can find one another to tailor the playlist at a venue or party based on users’ musical preferences.
“We’ve only begun to imagine the uses for Wi-Fi Aware,” said Edgar Figueroa. “Of course, people will use the technology to find video game opponents, photo sharing opportunities, and sources for location-specific information. We are also excited about Wi-Fi Aware’s potential in a range of services yet-to-be conceived.”
TelecomDrive Bureau covers the latest developments happening in the space of communications, devices and innovations in targeted geographies of India, SAARC, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions.
TelecomDrive Bureau is headed by Zia Askari. He can be reached at email@example.com