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Wi-Fi Will Make Smartphones More Aware of Surroundings

Today, most smartphone manufacturers focus on the Wi-Fi based applications that provide a way to share files, locations, services and features with other users. Tech Crunch reported that Wi-Fi technology will soon receive a bigger upgrade named, “Wi-Fi Aware“.


Released by Wi-Fi Alliance, this feature will allow the Wi-Fi enabled devices to discover nearby devices without requiring a mobile data connection.

So now you have a technology capacitated to help your smartphone locate nearby services and friends without being close to a hotspot. Wi-Fi Aware syncs up the devices that are equipped with Wi-Fi with more efficiency. Designed chiefly for smartphones, this continually broadcasts as well as picks up the broadcast of other devices thereby making a provision for these gadgets to discover and begin communicating with each other. With this, there is little need to go through cellular networks.

How Wi-Fi Aware Works?

Wi-Fi Aware works through applications on phone. As soon as an app gets installed with this feature, this app can begin using Wi-Fi Aware for launching services based upon user’s proximity to other devices. A Facebook app can use this specification to automatically tell when users are close to other Facebook friends. Now, Facebook chiefly prefers using location data to ascertain whether a user is close to a friend.

Companies can Use Wi-Fi Aware Features

Companies can build Wi-Fi infrastructures that use features of Wi-Fi Aware similar to the way Apple iBeacon technology works for location based service. In case a user walks by a store, Wi-Fi Aware can tell them whether there is a sale on brands that the user favorited on Facebook.

The nonprofit Wi-Fi Alliance founded in the year 1993 consists of a number of members along with Cisco Systems, Qualcomm, Samsung and Comcast Corporation, who are the major players. The alliance claimed that Wi-Fi Aware functions as an energy efficient and time-saving mechanism that aids in discovering devices on the go. This feature also works in the densely populated areas.

Whom do Wi-Fi Aware Cater To?

Wi-Fi Aware caters to the online gamers, offering them a platform for competing online and share media files to a group of recipients. This feature allows the users to discover things around them by sharing games, content and location-based information. It also helps to get alerts on activities and events that are happening nearby. With access to social interconnectivity, the users can choose not to share their location. They can also choose to share the location with only a few selected individuals.

As soon as the application gets installed, the compatible apps use Aware to uninterruptedly receive and send the broadcast to connected devices. The users will continue having a control over apps broadcasting and receiving information, apart from seeking permission to remain connected to individual devices.

Gives a Tough Competition to Previous Generations of Wireless Connectivity

Wi-Fi Aware not just provides high-speed data transfer but competes against previous generations of wireless connectivity like Bluetooth where Wi-Fi sends push notification creating micro-GPS. Interestingly enough, this device picks up on user’s preferences, sending notifications based upon location. For example, the Wi-Fi picks up the location of a friend who is close by sending notification to the user to start communication.

Moreover, the device is in an uninterrupted session picking up proximity and filtering out appropriate information from sources. This alienates the feature of other proximity sensors. Edgar Figueroa, the President of Wi-Fi Alliance pointed out that with Aware running in the background, the device can retrieve information of nearby devices before it tries to establish open access connection. This helps with efficient consumption of power. This makes the functionality of Aware more effective in the densely populated areas like football games, concerts, and social events.

Proximity and Location are Not Same

Location and proximity are two different concepts. While the first describes a location on the map, the other denotes an individual’s relation with another. Most proximity apps depend upon location. Wi-Fi Aware can provide details that ultimately prove beneficial for social interaction.

So when can you expect your smartphone to be Wi-Fi Aware? You will need to wait for a new generation of devices since Wi-Fi Alliance has kicked off the certification program just now. For the rest of the year, the device makers will be submitting phones, tablets and Wi-Fi radio chips for approval. You can expect them to hit the shelves by next year.

Written By

Steven Scheck is the Principal of Inspire WiFi, the nationwide leader of multifamily wifi and healthcare wifi. When he isn't bringing Wi-Fi to the masses, he enjoys spending time and traveling with his wife and 4 kids and occasionally gets in a round of golf. He is also very involved in philanthropic causes in Miami and nationally.

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