'Wi-Fi Aware' Proximity-Based Service Discovery to Drive P2P Contextual Information Sharing

'Wi-Fi Aware' Proximity-Based Service Discovery to Drive P2P Contextual Information Sharing

The Wi-Fi Alliance has unveiled the 'Wi-Fi Aware', a new low energy 'neighbor awareness' technology that will enable users to discover nearby devices, applications and information before making a Wi-Fi connection. The feature which is designed not to drain battery life will be available in Wi-Fi Aware-certified devices which are expected to debut sometime this year.

The Wi-Fi Aware operates continuously in the background, sending very small messages to enable service discovery for a wide range of applications. The feature will improve Wi-Fi's convenience for social applications such as gaming, peer-to-peer messaging, and media sharing, as well as for location-specific services such as proximity assessment, contextual notifications, and offers, said the WiFi Alliance. Upon discovery of its neighbor services, users may then launch an application, which will connect via Wi-Fi Direct® or traditional Wi-Fi. This can be used for a number of services such as to download a shopping application or to tailor a music playlist at a venue or party based on users' preferences.

According to the WiFi Alliance, as the mobile ecosystem evolves, Wi-Fi is developing 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.

Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance
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. 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. We've only begun to imagine the uses for Wi-Fi Aware. 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.

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma

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