(TechCrunch) – WiFi is getting a big upgrade today, thanks to three years of joint research and development by the world’s largest tech companies.
The new technology, called Wi-Fi Aware, is being released by the Wi-Fi Alliance, the non-profit trade organization that includes Apple, Microsoft, Intel and hundreds of other tech powerhouses as members.
Aware allows Wi-Fi-enabled products to discover and communicate directly with nearby devices, applications or information, without relying on cellular data or an Internet connection. Think of it as a sort of the same thing iBeacons were supposed to do but have yet to provide.
Essentially, once you’ve installed an application that leverages Aware, your device will continuously broadcast and receive broadcasts from devices in your vicinity. Users can opt in to let applications both publish availability and subscribe to receive information and connection requests.