See the entire article at Digital TrendsBefore the current Wi-Fi standard, called 802.11ac, wireless broadband was never quite robust enough: Too many devices were vying for your limited, inefficiently distributed bandwidth. This latest standard has proven faster and more reliable, and WiGig and mesh networking will help. But with the ever-increasing proliferation of Wi-Fi devices — PCs, smartphones, tablets, webcams, printers, wearables, refrigerators, and more — it won’t be long until we’re playing catch up again.

According to estimates by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the number of internet-connected gadgets for an average family of four is now at 10 per household. The cross-government trade group estimates that number will reach 50 wirelessly connected devices by 2022 — all competing for the same bandwidth, over the same connection.

“The Wi-Fi device and traffic explosion, higher density Wi-Fi deployments, growing use of outdoor Wi-Fi, and the need to support a great variety of different device types will require more efficient Wi-Fi implementations that can help to deliver richer experiences for enterprise and consumer applications that are hungry for bandwidth,” according to Andrew Zignani, Senior Analyst at ABI Research.

The good news in all this is that the people who tend to Wi-Fi standards haven’t been idle. The 6th generation of Wi-Fi, 802.11ax, is in the final stages of certification, and new products based on the standard are underway. Broadcom, a maker of circuit boards and other gizmos that drive today’s information technology, has just announced Max Wifi, the first 802.11ax chips designed for use in routers for homes and businesses, as well as wireless gadgets such as smartphones and tablets.

The need for massive increases in bandwidth and throughput is upon us. The question is, is 802.11ax enough, or is it too little too late?

Read the entire review at Digital Trends


 

IN A WORLD SATURATED IN WI-FI, THERE’S STILL ROOM FOR BLUETOOTH MESH - at Digital TrendsYes, current Wi-Fi-based smart home technology can turn on the lights with your smartphone or voice. But do you call that home automation, really? Isn’t it just a slightly more convenient light switch?

How about this? When you unlock your front door, the lights in the foyer come on, the motion sensors on your alarm system turn off, the thermostat starts the air conditioning, and your entertainment system begins playing your favorite music—all before you put your keys down!

Now that’s home automation, right?

What about a more serious, or potentially life-and-death scenario, where hospital staff could track patients, staff members, and equipment from any console, PC, or tablet on the premises?

While the best Wi-Fi systems allow us to take baby steps into building automation, wireless security, asset tracking, and more, a new technology called Bluetooth Mesh — an update to the standard Bluetooth wireless solution that most of us know — promises a better, more efficient, and much less expensive solution.

“As people’s expectations for networks go up, they demand networks capable of handling hundreds (or thousands) of IP addresses, offering Wi-Fi-level of signal performance across the house and building,” Daniel Cooley, Senior Vice President of Silicon Labs, told Digital Trends. “People won’t put up with flaky Wi-Fi anymore. If they can get away with fewer antennas, it would be much better.”

Cooley is a member of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, or SIG, which oversees and develops Bluetooth technology. If he’s right—and industry watchers and makers of networking equipment are betting that he is—many aspects of our lives will soon be secured and simplified by this latest Bluetooth update.

Read the entire article at Digital Trends

Introducing Bluetooth Mesh Networking from Bluetooth SIG on Vimeo.


 

By now, we all know what a Wi-Fi, or wireless, network is, and it’s probably safe to assume that most of us have one in either our home or office—or both. Plus, you’ll also find Wi-Fi networks all around your town, such as the local coffee shop, motel, and library. But did you know that many of today’s wireless devices, including wireless all-in-ones (AIOs) and single-function printers, as well as many smartphones, tablets, and laptops, come with a service—Wi-Fi Direct—that allows you to connect your mobile device to your printer without either device initially becoming part of a local area network (LAN), wireless or otherwise.

In other words, through Wi-Fi Direct, many of today’s mobile devices can print directly to many of today’s wireless printers, without the need for an intermediary network.

Read the entire review at About.com.


 

Wireless networks, or Wi-Fi, have been around long enough that just about everybody knows what they are. A Wi-Fi network is a wireless local area network, or LAN, over which computers and, yes, printers communicate with each other. Essentially, wired and wireless networks work the same, except that, of course, the data is broadcast through the air on wireless networks, rather than sent over Ethernet cable.

Lately, though, due primarily to the mobile device explosion over the past few years, we’ve begun seeing all kinds non-Wi-Fi wireless services and protocols for passing data between your PC, tablet, or smartphone and your printer. Unlike the Wi-Fi protocol, though, some of the new wireless connectivity options, such as Wi-Fi Direct and near-field communications (NFC), don’t require networks, and a few others don’t even require routers.

Read the entire review at About.com