Two studies came out today touting the conclusion that the multiple types of home networking technologies will not compete with one another, but will happily co-exist within the home. I, on the other hand, am beginning to think that Wi-Fi will take the lion’s share of the market and edge all others into one-trick pony status, à la Bluetooth for headsets.
Cisco’s investment yesterday into WiFi-based wireless video transfer company Celeno Communications just drives this point home. While some may argue that videophiles will choose a specialized standard such as WirelessHD or WHDI, plain old Wi-Fi will likely work for most people, and won’t require the average consumer to do a lot of interoperability research before buying products.
For further proof, look at the myriad devices that already contain Wi-Fi chips, ranging from pricey televisions to cheap digital cameras. Or Intel’s personal area network technology, which is based on Wi-Fi technology, is already shipping on Centrino chips and will be activated sometime early next year. Intel also earlier this summer invested in a startup called Ozmo Devices that uses Wi-Fi to link up computer peripherals.
“We’re working within Wi-Fi because it’s becoming the must-have accessory,” Ashish Gupta, mobile platforms group product manager at Intel said. “There’s a ton of devices that are shipping with Wi-Fi already and it just makes sense for this to be the standard of choice.” From a regulatory perspective, Wi-Fi does have advantages over many nascent standards because it uses similar frequency bands around the world, whereas some other standards, such Ultra-wideband or Wireless HD at 60 GHz, still face various standards or regulatory hurdles.