Know Wi-Fi Aware – the proximity connect with personalized experience

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Wi-Fi Aware will bring proximity-based service discovery to Wi-Fi devices and as a result, smart devices will be aware of nearby services even before connecting to internet As today’s consumers are getting overwhelmed with connected social, local and mobile applications, Wi-Fi is fast becoming the glue that is weaving different applications in a single thread of connectivity.  It will soon include a new capability to make it easier for users – discover nearby devices, applications, and information even before making a cellular, GPS or a Wi-Fi connection. For instance,
  • A user subscribed to a social gaming network would get notified whenever another gamer walks into the same area, allowing them to set up an instant match over their smart devices.
  • Frequent fliers standing in queue at the airport could get notifications informing them about the wait based on their distance from the check-in point.
But what is Wi-Fi Aware? To be launched in the next generation Wi-Fi certified devices later this year, the technology is able to find and communicate with other Wi-Fi nearby based on proximity as a trigger. Based purely on the consumer’s interest and real-time availability, when a device discovers something interesting – through Wi-Fi Aware, it can initiate a high-performance connection with another device & services and deliver seamless connectivity to the consumer. It’s very similar to another technology we’ve been hearing a lot about called beacons, used by retailers and other venues to interact directly with their subscribers through Bluetooth links. The major difference is Wi-Fi aware is independent of any infrastructure like transmitters as required by beacons; since devices discover and communicate directly with one another without internet. This opens Wi-Fi Aware to the busy world of social networking applications and opens up new avenues for operators to increase their chances of monetization. From a consumer’s standpoint, it will mean an instant connectivity solution to their quest for getting the relevant information, where they need it the most. Great Benefits from Wi-Fi Aware! With the market for proximity-based mobile and social services expected to increase three times by 2016, Wi-Fi Aware is now set to enable a new breed of innovative applications built on proximity-based information, bringing in huge advantages to smart devices and a personalized experience to the consumers based on personal preferences. ‘The future of mobile applications is being driven by a more location-based, context-aware, and personalized approach’, said principal analyst at 451 Research. Powered by energy efficient discover mechanism, delivering huge value add and ease of use to the consumer community, the “neighbor awareness” technology behind Wi-Fi Aware runs continuously in the background, to enable service discovery for a wide range of applications. Wi-Fi Aware-certified devices will discover before connecting, further improving Wi-Fi’s convenience and most importantly, delivering monetization opportunities for operators, while riding on social applications such as gaming, peer-to-peer messaging, and media sharing, as well as location-specific services such as proximity assessment, contextual notifications, and offers. Consumers may then launch an application, which will connect via traditional Wi-Fi to use the service. Exploit opportunities with Wi-Fi Aware At a time when CSPs are looking forward to becoming experience providers, rather than service providers – Wi-Fi Aware is in an ideal position to enable this transformation in a smooth manner and deliver unique application-driven experiences to the consumer community. With Wi-Fi Aware platform, users will be able to control privacy settings and select which notifications they need. What’s more is that the very nature of Wi-Fi Aware can allow consumers to configure an application to offer and/or seek services on nearby devices, while exchanging basic information and without making a connection to that device. This way the consumer need not worry about the security part. Wi-Fi platform vendors can play a key role. Wi-Fi’s widespread implementation in mobile devices offers potential for vendors, operating system (OS) developers, and application makers to create innovative services based on proximity.

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