Wi-Fi Aware

Discover the world nearby

Our world is bigger and more personalized than ever, with social media usage diversifying and expanding to include localized experiences based on proximity. Proximity has become a critical element of today’s mobile connected experiences, and the market for proximity-based applications is expected to grow significantly in 2015 and beyond. These applications are enriching the mobile experience, and proximity-centric apps are changing the mobile landscape. Retailers, venues, and municipalities, and many others are leveraging proximity to drive revenue and value.

Wi-Fi® is evolving alongside proximity-based social networking

Wi Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Aware™ is a new Wi-Fi Alliance certification program that extends Wi-Fi’s capabilities with a real-time and energy-efficient discovery mechanism that provides an immediate on-ramp to rich here-and-now experiences. Wi-Fi Aware’s ability to continuously discover other devices and services within Wi-Fi range before making a connection brings proximity-based service discovery to Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices. Wi-Fi Aware will make it easy to find information and services available in an area that match preferences set by the user – and is optimized to work well even in crowded environments. Wi-Fi Aware will be a key enabler of a personalized social, local, and mobile experience, enabling users to find video gaming opponents, share media content, and access localized information all before establishing a connection.

Wi-Fi Aware means more powerful proximity experiences

  • Provides continuous device-to-device discovery, even without a GPS, cellular or hotspot connection
  • The technology works well in crowded environments and indoors – by design
  • Wi-Fi CERTIFIED means it operates in typical Wi-Fi range across numerous device brands
  • Allows bidirectional sharing of small pieces of information, e.g. location data, sensor readings,
    and services in proximity
  • Applications easily transition to a Wi-Fi connection to use high bandwidth
  • Wi-Fi Aware is app-centric, and users can control privacy and opt-in or out of identity disclosure
  • Leverages the spontaneous nature of user proximity to enable innovative applications

Certification for Wi-Fi Aware is now available.

  • Wi-Fi Aware™: Discover the world nearby
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Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is Wi-Fi Aware?

    Wi-Fi Aware delivers always-on, real-time discovery of what is available nearby, and provides an on-ramp to the kinds of rich here-and-now experiences people want. It establishes a common “heartbeat” that aligns communication windows to enable efficient, continuous discovery of devices and services. When a device discovers an interesting service, the device can initiate a high-performance Wi-Fi connection.

  • How does Wi-Fi Aware improve upon existing proximity technologies?

    Wi-Fi Aware improves on existing proximity offerings by delivering a truly here-and-now contextual awareness solution that works well indoors and in dense environments, without requiring a cellular, Wi-Fi, or GPS connection. The technology provides an easy onramp for a high-performance Wi-Fi connection and works at typical Wi-Fi range.

  • How will users experience Wi-Fi Aware?

    Wi-Fi Aware-enabled experiences will be application-driven, and users will be able to control privacy settings and opt-in to desired notifications. Users can configure an application to offer and/or seek services on nearby devices, exchanging basic information without making a connection to that device.

  • How does Wi-Fi Aware enable rich proximity-based experiences?

    When an interesting experience is found, the application can initiate a high-performance Wi-Fi connection, using Wi-Fi Direct or infrastructure Wi-Fi, to do things like sharing photos or playing a multiplayer game.

  • What is Wi-Fi Aware’s range?

    Wi-Fi Aware operates at typical Wi-Fi range.

  • What is the Wi-Fi Alliance specification underlying Wi-Fi Aware?

    Wi-Fi Aware is a certification program based on the Wi-Fi Alliance Neighbor Awareness Networking specification.

  • Will Wi-Fi Aware drain the battery on my mobile device?

    Wi-Fi Aware was designed to be very power efficient. Wi-Fi Aware devices establish clusters with a common “heartbeat” to exchange small messages about services available nearby. Continuous discovery can occur without putting undue burden on the battery of a mobile device.

  • On what frequency bands does Wi-Fi Aware operate?

    Wi-Fi Aware operates in 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.

  • Can my device be updated to support Wi-Fi Aware?

    Many devices are capable of receiving updates to support Wi-Fi Aware. Whether a device can receive software updates to add the new functionality or not comes down to individual device vendor implementation.

  • What is the relationship between Wi-Fi Aware and Wi-Fi Direct?

    Wi-Fi Aware provides an efficient mechanism for always-on service discovery, whereas Wi-Fi Direct provides data connectivity among groups of devices. The technologies are complementary. Once an interesting service is discovered, a device can initiate a high-performance connection using Wi-Fi Direct for data transfer related to the service, e.g. sharing photos or playing a multiplayer game.