January 29, 2015 — The next generation of Wi-Fi routers based on the upcoming Wave 2 version of the 802.11ac standard was unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show.
These devices are, indeed, a quantum leap forward, promising speeds up to 3.2 gigabits per second on a spread across both the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency bands. They also offer multiuser multiple-input, multiple-output functionality (MUMIMO). Now the promise of multi-video/audio streams, in multiple locations, while doing taxes and playing Mario Cart (that your ISP is telling you can be done) might just be possible. It is an edge-of-the envelope technology, supporting 8×8 MIMO/MUMIMO that may well hit speeds of 10 Gbps in the near future.
On another Wi-Fi note, The Wi-Fi Alliance is adding a capability to the next-generation Wi-Fi devices as well. A feature called “Wi-Fi Aware” is a neighbor awareness networking (NAN) spec code designed to poll, continuously, nearby devices, and enable service discovery for a range of applications.
The Wi-Fi Aware-certified devices will look for other Wi-Fi Aware devices that are interested in gaming, peer-to-peer messaging or media sharing, as well as location-specific services such as proximity assessment, contextual notifications, and offers too good to be true. The user then launches an application, which connects via Wi-Fi Direct or traditional Wi-Fi, to use the service.