April 23, 2015 — Wi-Fi is just getting more and more tekky. Coming soon to a neighborhood near you, Wi-Fi Aware. This platform is expected to be Wi-Fi Certified in products this year. Wi-Fi Aware is a marketing angle to get the neighbor awareness networking specification (NAN) into the network. The technology is designed to continuously send very small messages to enable service discovery for a range of applications.
Wi-Fi aware brings a ton of useful features. The Wi-Fi Aware-certified devices will look for other Wi-Fi Aware devices that are interested in gaming, peer-to-peer messaging or media sharing; as well as searching for location-specific services, such as proximity assessment, contextual notifications and product offers. The user then launches an application, which connects via Wi-Fi Direct or traditional Wi-Fi, to use the service.
It is designed to work well in crowded environments and indoors with minimal power consumption. For me, I could be in an airport and want to play World of Tanks while waiting for my generally delayed flight to board. Using Wi-Fi Aware, your device will look around for any other people who love to play the game and want to form a platoon.
“It does that by pinging other devices within Wi-Fi range,” said Kelly Davis-Felner, vice president of marketing at the Wi-Fi Alliance. Once another device is found, it can initiate a session. What’s nice about this is that it can work with Android, iOS, BlackBerry or another operating system.
This is a revolutionary step. With Wi-Fi Aware, a consumer could be in the basement of a subway station that doesn’t have hotspot or cellular connectivity and still use Wi-Fi Aware to find interesting things nearby – sign me up!