Wireless connectivity and social networking have grown up together over the years, with the ability to communicate with the ones we love while on the move giving us a whole new way to interact. However, proximity based networking is something that Wi-Fi has never easily accommodated, and that has placed certain restrictions on what devices and apps can do. That may soon change.
The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced Wi-Fi Aware, a new certification program that will make it possible for devices in proximity to one another to ‘discover’ each other and communicate through an energy-efficient wireless standard..
Wi-Fi Aware is designed to be continuously on the lookout for compatible devices and can connect a user to them, even without traditional telecommunication networks like GPS, cellular or hotspot connections. This means it works in very busy or very remote areas, potentially allowing communication between devices when there are no traditional networks for them to connect to.
Users will be able to set their publicly view-able settings, keeping things as private as they want them to be. However it’s hoped that the new system would allow for the swift connection of those that want to interact in any given space, without the need for traditional hoop jumping.
Although this is just the beginning, with the Wi-Fi Alliance looking to certify devices that are applicable with the new connectivity option, it envisages a world where Wi-Fi Aware is used to not only connect devices quicker than ever before, also allow for the sharing of information via certain applications, be they games, dating apps or photos at places like a gig, apparently.
We’re not sure encouraging people to worry about sharing photos with other people at the same concert as them is a feature anyone really needed, and it’s not clear how security will be implemented — or if it will be strong enough. Still, this could make cross-device communication easier, especially in areas the lack reliable, publicly available Wi-Fi.