Wi-Fi Aware™ to bring proximity-based service discovery to Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ devices later this year

Devices will be aware of nearby services before connecting

Las Vegas, NV, January 6, 2015 - With connected social, local and mobile applications growing at an explosive pace, Wi-Fi® will soon include a new capability to make it easier for users to discover nearby devices, applications, and information before making a Wi-Fi connection. The solution, to be Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ in products later this year, is called Wi-Fi Aware™.

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-certified devices will discover before connecting, further improving Wi-Fi’s convenience for social applications such as gaming, peer-to-peer messaging, and media sharing, as well as location-specific services such as proximity assessment, contextual notifications, and offers. The user may then launch an application, which will connect via Wi-Fi Direct® or traditional Wi-Fi to use the service.

“We know users want to use Wi-Fi as much as possible for social and local applications, and Wi-Fi Aware is an exciting breakthrough that makes it easier to know what interesting services are nearby before making a connection,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. “We’re excited about how Wi-Fi Aware will transform the experience of initiating proximity-based services, and its potential to enable a range of peer-to-peer service experiences.”

The introduction of Wi-Fi Aware certification comes at a time when smartphones are overtaking feature phones and the increased capabilities of these devices are creating a burgeoning mobile application market. As the mobile ecosystem evolves, Wi-Fi is evolving alongside it to enable a new breed of innovative applications built on proximity-based information that will bring significant advantages to mobile devices and a personalized experience to the user based on his or her preferences.  

Wi-Fi Aware in action

Wi-Fi Aware is designed to work well 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. The user may then “opt-in” to initiate a connection to the discovered device, often without using an internet connection.

The value of Wi-Fi Aware comes alive in social, local and mobile applications. Apps themselves will leverage the technology in Wi-Fi Aware-certified devices to discover nearby counterparts offering valuable services. 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. 

“We’ve only begun to imagine the uses for Wi-Fi Aware,” said Edgar Figueroa. “Of course, people will use the technology to find video game opponents, photo sharing opportunities, and sources for location-specific information. We are also excited about Wi-Fi Aware’s potential in a range of services yet-to-be conceived.”

Please visit www.wi-fi.org/wi-fi-aware for additional resources, including a video animation illustrating the technology in action. A draft of the Wi-Fi Alliance Neighbor Awareness Networking Specification, the technology which underpins the forthcoming Wi-Fi Aware certification program, is also available for purchase.


About Wi-Fi Alliance®
Wi-Fi Alliance® is a global non-profit industry association – our members are the worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi®. The members of our collaboration forum come from across the Wi-Fi ecosystem and share a common vision of connecting everyone and everything, everywhere. Since 2000, the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED seal of approval designates products with proven interoperability, industry-standard security protections, and the latest technology. Wi-Fi Alliance has certified more than 23,000 products, delivering the best user experience and encouraging the expanded use of Wi-Fi products and services in new and established markets. Today, billions of
Wi-Fi products carry a significant portion of the world’s data traffic in an ever-expanding variety of applications. 



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Elliott Suthers

Highwire PR for Wi-Fi Alliance


+1-415-963-4174 ext. 6