Parks Associates Blog

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wi-Fi for WPAN

I had a briefing today with Aceurity, which is getting into the "wireless HDMI" space. Interesting stuff. Their Founder and CEO - Vijay Desai - also pointed me to a company using Wi-Fi for WPAN type of applications (short-range cable replacement for peripherals). Ozmo Devices was at the Intel Developer Forum in August demonstrating a wireless mouse reference design along with Avago Technologies, which supplied the optical mouse sensor.

The argument that Ozmo - and Aceurity - are making with their pitches is that Wi-Fi is obviously the de facto wireless connection standard, with unsurpassed penetration in thousands of certified products. I was actually checking out the list of Wi-Fi certified products this week and found a number of consumer electronics devices that are spanning well beyond notebooks, routers, gateways, etc. Given Wi-Fi's dominance, Desai tells me that it makes no sense to force consumer electronics vendors to put two or more radios in their devices (he specifically mentioned UWB and the emerging class of other wireless HDMI solutions that use the 5 GHz or 60 GHz band).

That's an interesting point. The conventional wisdom to date has been that Wi-Fi - and even the 802.11n solution - still won't be robust enough to support high-def video streaming in the home. That's why we've seen a number of vendors and consortia emerge that are looking at different ways of transmitting huge amounts of HD content around the home. Can there be solutions that take advantage of the volumes, costs, and interoperability of Wi-Fi and make it a feasible solution for both WPAN and wireless HDMI type of applications? I'd say that's worth investigating.

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