Thursday, 4 September 2014

Wireless Technologies That Could Transform Your Home Networks


Home Networks
The “Internet of Things” is about to dawn on us and with that we will soon see an explosion of devices that can talk to each other without wires and act according to your needs – a “smart” home. Home networks mostly consist of standard Wi-Fi and Ethernet cabling with game consoles and set-top boxes for content streaming.

However as the devices increase, such heterogeneity can be a problem with various devices offering orthogonal protocols. Thus, unified mode of communication is needed between them. This calls for new Wireless technologies, which will change our home networks and make them more versatile and universal.

Wi-Fi 802.11ac

The Wi-Fi protocol named 802.11 is defined by IEEE and it was approved in January 2014. It can significantly change our home networks it is being supported by a number of OEMs and backed by the Wireless Alliance.

With most homes streaming video contents from Internet sources (Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Crackle, etc) via their console or boxes to TVs, a large bandwidth is needed. It supports a maximum of 1 Gbps multi-station output and 500 Mbps over a single line.

This is done by adopting a wider RF bandwidth, more MIMO streams and high density modulation (256-QAM). Most commercial routers, Smartphones and chipsets are already supporting it. With those speed, you could stream multiple HD videos, zero buffering and no more tangled cords between devices.

Near Field Communication

NFC has changed the way we look at wireless communication. NFC has none of the associated sharing of PINs and password troubles. You just tap two NFC devices to transfer whatever data you need with speeds much greater than Bluetooth.

It is present in most modern Smartphones also an increasing number of home appliances. Imagine you look for a recipe online on your Smartphones and send it to your microwave for cooking instructions via NFC. The possibilities are endless. With Wi-Fi Direct as NFC transfer method, 300 Mbps speeds are possible for data transfer. Furthermore, it can be made to consume very low power with Bluetooth LE profile.

Miracast! 

While the name may suggest some fable, it is a Wireless technology that will simplify your streaming needs without the hassle of setting up routers and Internet connections. The transfer is done via Wi-Fi direct and enables streaming of audio and video from any device to any other device.

Upto 1080p FullHD video with 5.1 surround sound is supported and the protocol is backed by Wireless Alliance. Most OEMs have already support for Miracast as it requires hardware support. Thus it can be thought off as a wireless HDMI connection with H.264 codec and its own DRM. Thus you never have to worry about file formats and codec support between devices.

With emerging technologies in the field of wireless communication, we will be living in a more connected world. These technologies are pushing the boundaries of wireless communication and making our devices connected with each other providing a hassle-free and enriched experience. The 21st century has truly arrived!

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