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.