The Wi-Fi Alliance created a new technology certification program, called the Wi-Fi Aware, for proximity-based services.
The WiFi Aware is a new mechanism, conceived to discover devices and services within Wi-Fi range before making a Wi-Fi connection, even without GPS and cellular connection. This new technology is very similar to beacons, used by retailers and other venues to interact with customers through Bluetooth – but doesn’t require Bluetooth.
We collected here some interesting articles and resources about WiFi Aware, security risks, social networks and the first certified silicon.
“Two new WiFi technologies — Wi-Fi Aware and Wi-Fi Sense — have recently made headlines for their potential impact on consumers. But these consumer-focused WiFi capabilities will invariably impact enterprise WLANs, and wireless administrators will have to deal with the fallout. […] Business wireless is all about security, control, and trying to define the borders of your environment. Even where BYOD is allowed, there’s usually either mobile device management technology in place or minimally a strong policy to tame an otherwise unpredictable beast. […] In the case of WiFi Aware, you have all sorts of device-to-device communications that happen before client devices get on my WLAN, and when something in the mechanism breaks down for whatever reason, it’s going to result in “your WiFi sucks” type trouble tickets regardless of whether my WLAN was in play or not.”
“Wi-Fi Aware will let nearby smartphones detect one another and share information, helping to create a new breed of proximity services. […] When will your smartphone become Wi-Fi Aware? You’ll have to wait for a new generation of devices to emerge as the Wi-Fi Alliance has just kicked off its Aware certification program. For the remainder of the year, device makers will submit their Wi-Fi radio chips, phones and tablets for approval, which means we should start seeing them hit the shelves next year or by the holidays at the earliest.”
“Wi-Fi Aware will make it easy to find information and services available in an area that match preferences set by the user – and is optimized to work well even in crowded environments. Wi-Fi Aware will be a key enabler of a personalized social, local, and mobile experience, enabling users to find video gaming opponents, share media content, and access localized information all before establishing a connection.”
“Along with launching its certification program, the Wi-Fi Alliance also announced that the first silicon supporting Wi-Fi Aware is available for certification test purposes. Those chips include the Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) BCM4358, Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)’s Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260,Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRVL)’s Avastar 88W8897 802.11ac low power Wi-Fi combo chip and Realtek Semiconductor Inc. ‘s RTL8812AE 2×2 a/b/g/n/ac MiniCard.”
“Even though Aware is running continuously in the background so that a device knows exactly what’s nearby before it connects, it’s incredibly power efficient, according to Edgar Figueroa, President of the WiFi Alliance — even more so than traditional WiFi, he says. This means that Aware has no trouble functioning in a crowded environment, like a huge concert or a football game where texting is often impossible. Figueroa says that we can expect to see social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn roll out applications with Wi-Fi Aware before the end of the year.”