Wi-Fi 6: It’s Not Just About You Anymore

Wireless communication
November 30, 2021

Discover how Wi-Fi 6 is revolutionizing connectivity, extending beyond individual needs to reshape industries. Explore its impact on IoT, automotive tech, and more

Blossoming in the Age of Wi-Fi 6: Beyond Personal Performance

Most consumers see successive versions of Wi-Fi from a very me-centric lens - how much further can I sit from the router and still be productive? Or, can I watch 4K videos on my notebook while sitting in the backyard? And, of course, the most recent versions of Wi-Fi let you sit further and download faster than ever before.

In fact, the main goal that the task group which developed the 802.11ax standard (TGax) set for itself was delivering better performances (higher data rates) in highly dense environments (e.g. offices but also campuses, airports and stadium), by improving the efficiency of the whole network and saving battery life of each device.

Wi-Fi 6 Advantages: From Factory Control to National Defense

But there is a lot more. Wi-Fi 6 will greatly influence our everyday lives, both directly and indirectly. One of the areas where Wi-Fi 6 will have a huge impact is the Internet of Things, or IoT. As defined in Wikipedia, IoT “describes physical objects that are embedded with sensors, processing ability, software, and other technologies that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet or other communications networks.” A sensor in your refrigerator could alert you if your refrigerant starts leaking, or a medical device could continually send data back to a physician for monitoring.

Bringing connectivity to increasingly smarter devices will deliver significant benefits in markets as diverse as factory automation and national defense. And, as explored in an article entitled Wi-Fi 6 is set to change the future of IoT—Here’s why, new features in Wi-Fi 6 significantly enhance Wi-Fi’s role in IoT, not only with faster throughput but, as we said already, also with power-saving features that extend battery life and better performance in areas congested with multiple Wi-Fi and other signals. 

Wi-Fi 6 in Automotive: Beyond Monitoring, a Shared Experience

Wi-Fi is also playing an increasingly important role in automobiles, not only for sending operating data back to the factory but also for high-bandwidth media consumption that often is shared among multiple riders. As detailed in an article entitled How WiFi 6 will enable smarter vehicles, Wi-Fi 6 delivers multiple features that enhance automotive Wi-Fi performance, including the ability to partition bandwidth more effectively so multiple riders can enjoy their movies while under-the-hood monitoring devices can continue to communicate effectively. 

The key point is that where earlier generations of Wi-Fi primarily enabled router-to-computer, phone, tablet, or smart TV communications, newer generations allow a much more diverse set of manufacturers to add features that significantly enhance the utility and marketability of their products. That’s why you’ll see Wi-Fi added to an increasing range of products from air conditioners to toilet seats. 

Bringing it back to the me-centric view that we all share, not only does Wi-Fi 6 let you sit further from your router and enjoy 4K videos, it can also alert you that your air-conditioner is ailing before it fails and significantly enhance connectivity in cars, airplanes, conferences, and other congested use scenarios. So, maybe Wi-Fi 6 is all about you, after all. 

Wi-Fi 6 offers many new features that enable or enhance many products in many industries beyond those mentioned above. Check back for additional posts that will describe these features and their underlying technologies.

Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash

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