Wi-Fi has become a staple in how our wireless devices interact with one another, and as such, the ways we interact with Wi-Fi have evolved. The Wi-Fi Alliance, an organization made up of a roster of well known tech companies, announced its certification program for Wi-Fi Aware, an initiative that looks to capitalize on this trend.
Wi-Fi Aware is a new technology that allows Wi-Fi certified products to detect other devices based on applications that will support this new capability. First, using user-defined privacy settings, devices supporting Wi-Fi Aware will send signals outward, prompting discovery of other devices such as mobile hubs or even other users' personal phones or tablets.
Discovered devices will broadcast invitations to applications and services back to the initial device. The initial user then allows or denies the incoming connections, sustaining the interaction via a wireless heartbeat.
While inactive, Wi-Fi Aware will remain in standby until devices with matching preferences detect one another. This allows Wi-Fi enabled devices to develop an "awareness" of their environment.
This new technology will be especially beneficial to application developers who wish to take advantage of how our devices interact with other users' devices and with our surroundings. The Wi-Fi Alliance released a video illustrating what sort of applications may emanate from Wi-Fi Aware.
In the video, a simple example shows a user connecting with another device within its proximity via a game application. Another scenario illustrates users connecting via a photo sharing application with Wi-Fi Aware capability. The final example shows museum visitors receiving information about an exhibit they were visiting through their phone.
Ultimately, Wi-Fi Aware may allow developers to create applications and services that give users the potential to interact with their environment in creative and innovative ways.
Scheduled for release in late 2015, the current certified test suite includes Broadcom's BCM4358, Intel's Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260, Marvell's Avastar 88W8897, Realtek's RTL8812AE and MediaTek's MT 6630. All these listed components will be able to take full advantage of Wi-Fi Aware at release.