WWC Toronto 2023 – Summary
The World Wi-Fi Congress organized by Wi-Fi Now and held in Toronto showcased the latest developments in the Wi-Fi industry, highlighting the revolutionary potential of Wi-Fi 7, efforts to improve latency and optimize traffic scheduling, the integration of location services for precise navigation and asset tracking, the shift towards providing additional services leveraging 6 GHz capabilities, and the innovative use of Wi-Fi signals for motion sensing, all pointing towards a promising future of continuous advancements and enhanced services in the Wi-Fi industry.
Read about the popular topics that were discussed during the conference.
WI-FI 7 IS HERE
Wi-Fi 7 has arrived. Both Intel and Qualcomm have discussed their Wi-Fi 7 chips. These new chips will support the new features introduced by 802.11be, including 320 MHz wide channels, 4K QAM, and channel puncturing.
The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced that Wi-Fi 7 certification will be completed by the end of Q1 2024 at the latest.
RACE TO LOW LATENCY
With the increasing use of the 6GHz band, there is a growing need to support latency-sensitive applications. As a result, efforts are being made to leverage the 6 GHz band, Wi-Fi 6E & 7, to improve the scheduling of Wi-Fi traffic.
Furthermore, collaboration is taking place among different players in the Wi-Fi ecosystem to optimize how Wi-Fi access points handle transmissions based on the specific application being used. This initiative, known as TSN (Time-Sensitive Networking), was discussed by Cisco in their partnership with Apple. They are also exploring the possibility of making this work available for wider industry use with the 802.1Qbv standard.
WI-FI LOCATION IS COMING BACK
Most vendors are integrating new technologies into their APs to better support location services. Here are some of the technologies being introduced: GPS, Fine Time Measurements (802.11mc), Next Generation Positioning (NGP), Ultra Wide Band (UWB), BLE 6.0.
These technologies, sometimes combined, enable precise location services by leveraging the existing Wi-Fi infrastructure. Services such as automatic AP location, indoor location navigation, and asset tracking are made possible.
THE VALUE IS MOVING TO SERVICES
We are witnessing a growing number of individuals acquiring 1 GB internet connections for their homes. Furthermore, with the introduction of Wi-Fi 6E, we are experiencing 1 GB speeds over our Wi-Fi connections. As a result of this increased connectivity, there is a surge in the number of providers and vendors in the Wi-Fi industry who view Wi-Fi as an essential feature and are prioritizing the provision of additional services alongside Wi-Fi connectivity.
The same holds true in the enterprise space, where all vendors are currently focused on providing services that can be utilized on top of the Wi-Fi infrastructure. These services take advantage of the enhanced Wi-Fi speeds and reduced latency introduced by 6 GHz, as well as AI and Cloud technologies.
MOTION SENSING USING WI-FI SIGNALS
When it comes to services, we have been informed by Cognitive and Origin AI about their capability to detect movement using Wi-Fi signals. They achieve this by deploying static Wi-Fi devices throughout a given environment, such as light bulbs, light switches, speakers, and access points. These devices measure the Wi-Fi signal as it travels back and forth. The collected signal data is then analyzed using complex algorithms to determine the presence of motion in the space. They claim to be able to detect even micro-movements, such as someone sleeping, and to differentiate between the movements of a human and those of a pet.
It will be interesting to see if traditional enterprise AP vendors will start developing these services.