The new, more personal, Wi-Fi

Last week the over hyped Customer Electronics Show (CES) took place in Las Vegas, USA. Year by year, we see big companies showing off their new products at CES. Some of these innovative products are quite interesting, but in general most of the products presented at CES are just ridiculous.

During the last couple of years, we’ve been hearing (over and over) about Internet of Things, and how this idea is going to change the way we live. It is supposed to make our life easier by connecting everything to the internet. In fact most of the products presented in Las Vegas, were just doing that: companies just installed an internet connectivity module to their products and presented them as something incredibly genius.  In order to make IoT a real thing, platforms backed by new technologies that make it easier for the users to connect to these “things” are a must. By having platforms, things will be able not only to connect to the internet, but to connect to each other, creating a complete IoT ecosystem.

The backbone of IoT is formed up by dozens, and even hundreds of sensors. The way this sensor communicate between each other, has not been optimized or properly standardized. So far, the Bluetooth SIG was one of the few organizations that took this seriously with their Bluetooth LE release. Thanks to this standard, many products gained the ability to talk to each other in a better way. So far, Bluetooth LE has shown to be far too limited, and not good enough to support a complete platform.

However, not everything released at CES was all that bad. The Wi-Fi alliance actually released one of the most interesting things of the congress, they called it Wi-Fi Aware:

“Wi-Fi Aware is an exciting new capability of Wi-Fi which enables power-efficient discovery of nearby information and services before making a connection. Wi-Fi Aware will make it easy to find services available in the 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.”

Think of it as Bluetooth beacons on steroids. Something that, due to its scale and characteristics, can  really start the IoT revolution. The two main platforms in the market: Google’s Nest Labs and Apple’s Homekit should be able to enjoy the benefits of these two technologies in order to create strong platforms. If they fail to do so, the whole idea of IoT will take even longer to take off. But let’s be optimistic and let’s hope that companies understand the importance of having a platform, and not only a single solution.

Welcome to 2015. Welcome to, what it seems to be, the year of Internet of Things. Welcome to the future.


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