The Wi-Fi Alliance announced an initiative at the International CES in Las Vegas to certify Wi-Fi products to be “Wi-Fi Aware,” which is a new capability to make it easier for users to discover nearby devices, applications, and information before making a Wi-Fi connection. The “neighbor awareness” technology behind Wi-Fi Aware operates continuously in the background, sending very small messages to enable service discovery for a wide range of applications.
Wi-Fi Aware will initiate proximity-based services and a range of peer-to-peer communications. It is designed to work in crowded environments and indoors, and to minimize power consumption.
Applications on a mobile device will use Wi-Fi Aware both to offer and to find services on other devices. For example, a user may download a shopping application which leverages Wi-Fi Aware to find nearby availability of the user’s preferred brands. In another example, devices using a jukebox application can find one another to tailor the playlist at a venue or party based on users’ musical preferences.