Spotted in recent FCC and Wi-Fi Alliance documents
With the recent addition of Miracast wireless screencasting functionality to Windows Phone devices, that rumored Surface-branded Miracast dongle we first heard about back in May was already beginning to make a lot of sense, but now a couple of sites have unearthed some fresh evidence that puts the existence of such a device beyond all reasonable doubt.
Move over, AirPlay, and keep your closed ecosystem and pricey adapters to yourself, Wi-Di; there's a new streaming display solution coming to town. The Wi-Fi Alliance plans on finalizing the Miracast wireless display standard in the next few months, enabling cord-and dongle-free streaming to monitors and TVs, and a big new partner just announced it was onboard: Nvidia. Even better, Big Green's bringing the Tegra 3 processor along for the ride, which could help to quickly spur adoption of the standard.
Wi-Fi Alliance’s Passpoint initiative is about to get off the ground. According to the trade association, it will begin certifying network equipment and end user devices for Passpoint compliance next month. Announced in 2011, the Passpoint program is aimed at enabling seamless, hassle-free connectivity to Wi-Fi hotspots.
The Wi-Fi Alliance announced Monday that it has begun certifying products for compliance with the Wi-Fi Direct standard, aimed at enabling router-free instant networking among Wi-Fi enabled devices (a la Bluetooth). Technically, Wi-Fi Direct does not dispense with access points, but merely relies on a software-based alternative, called Soft AP, allowing any Direct-enabled device to act as an access point.
A Wi-Fi Direct connection is not only way more uncomplicated than traditional peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connections (ad hoc), but it is also much more secure. It is being tipped by many to be Bluetooth’s replacement -- and not without good reason. Bluetooth simply can’t match Wi-Fi Direct in terms of range and speed.
Screw the coffee and other caffeinated beverages, give us our Wi-Fi! That's the general theme behind a new study conducted by the Wi-Fi Alliance, which pinged 1,000 young adults (or millennials) ages 17 to 29 in the U.S., and another 400 in China just for good measure.
Three-fourths of the respondents living in the U.S. said that going a week without Wi-Fi would put them in a worse mood than going a week without coffee or tea. That number jumps to 87 percent in China. And over half of respondents (58 percent in the U.S., 56 percent in China) pegged Wi-Fi as being a necessity versus just helpful.
Some other interesting poll results:
Two-thirds of respondents in the U.S. reported they spend more time on Wi-Fi than watching television
64 percent of U.S. respondents claimed it would be impossible to maintain relationships with many friends without Wi-Fi, while 44 percent said the same about family
84 percent of respondents in the U.S. said they are more likely to carry a handheld digital device than a watch
"These polling results are a strong reflection of both the social and technological orientation of young adults around the world today," commented Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst at Parks Associates. "Interactive digital devices are fundamental to how millennials spend their time and connect with family and friends, and have become more important than older, more passive forms of entertainment like television.
How important is Wi-Fi in your daily routine? Do you rank Wi-Fi access as a higher want or need than coffee or TV?
Battery performance on Wi-Fi enabled devices varies pretty wildly based on our experience, but the folks over at technologyreview.com think they finally know why. According to researchers over at the University of Texas, most Wi-Fi enabled access points don't properly implement the protocol designed to reduce the power drain on mobile devices. This makes performance somewhat inconsistent, but researchers think it's something that can be addressed going forward.
The power saving mode was designed to allow mobile devices to enter a "sleep" mode between packet requests, however most end up staying in a fully powered up state until the completion of the entire transfer. Depending on the size of the file, and the network latency, this can add a considerable amount of additional battery drain. Head researcher Eric Rozner concluded that "an HTC Tilt's total power consumption increases by threefold when using Wi-Fi". 3G data caps are likely to increase consumer dependence on Wi-Fi in the future, so clearly this is a problem that deserves a bit of attention.
We hope this is something the handset makers find a way to address given the relative ease of pushing updates to smartphone platforms, but if the problem is indeed with the access points, I wouldn't count on this unfortunate situation resolving itself anytime soon. Isn't this why we have the Wi-Fi Alliance? I guess they are still licking their wounds after arguing about 802.11n for seven years.
After years of seeing draft-n wireless products, the IEEE finally ratified the standard this summer. Now the Wi-Fi Alliance has created a new certification program complete with new logos. "Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n builds on the success of our draft-n certification program and marks a point of maturity in 802.11n technology," said Edgar Figueroa, Executive Director of The Wi-Fi Alliance.
The new Wi-Fi certification program includes all the requirements from the draft standard, with some additional optional features. The optional features include support for transmission of up to three spatial streams, STBC encoding to increase reliability, A-MPDU packet aggregation, and channel coexistence for the 40MHz operation in the 2.4GHz band.
The new, longer logo shows all the standards that a device supports. The new certification program also allows products to indicate if they support optional features. The new logos should even show up on devices that were previously draft-n, as many were certified for the full standard.