Proximity through the eyes of Wi-Fi Aware and Google Nearby – An Industry Insight

Franck Legendre By Franck Legendre

Last week was the forefront of two major tech announcements: Google’s Nearby API and Wi-Fi Alliance’s Wi-Fi Aware certification program.

Wi-Fi Aware, also called Wi-Fi NAN for Neighbor Awareness Networking, extends “Wi-Fi with real-time and energy efficient discovery” according to the Wi-Fi Alliance. The certification program is the last step before first chips being produced by chip makers are certified and can be commercialized to smartphone and access point manufacturers.

Google Nearby provides a proximity API, Nearby Messages, for iOS and Android devices to discover and communicate with each other. Nearby will be provided through a forthcoming update of the Google Play Services.

These are two great pieces of news. Why? First, proximity is gaining momentum and a key player – Google – is now entering the scene. Second, Wi-Fi Aware has the potential to become a key enabler technology for proximity and we can’t wait getting our hands on it.

That said, let’s not get too excited too soon and go through a quick reality check.

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