The Beacon

CES 2020: Wi-Fi 6 on display

The show floor at CES includes many Wi-Fi Alliance® members and a wide range of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ devices. Follow us on Twitter at @WiFiAlliance 
as we share moments from the #CES2020 show floor and highlight some of
the newest Wi-Fi® innovations and trends.

Since its inception in 1967, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), has been a highly anticipated industry event that showcases the latest and greatest in innovative consumer technologies. 2020 will be no different, with companies from start-ups to household brands displaying new technologies that will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the way our society works, plays, and stays connected.

It’s no surprise that we expect Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6™ – the technology that was named one of the 100 greatest innovations of 2019 by Popular Science – to take center stage at CES. Wi-Fi 6, the latest generation of Wi-Fi®, promises to be a key enabler of innovation across multiple product categories in 2020 and the decade to come.

Below are a few areas where Wi-Fi Alliance® expects to see Wi-Fi momentum at CES 2020:

Wi-Fi 6 gains traction

Wi-Fi 6 has seen rollouts in a variety of Wi-Fi Alliance member products, including smartphones and access points. The benefits of Wi-Fi 6 include increased performance in high-traffic areas – including public venues and homes – for an overall improved user experience. Whether in large public stadiums, university campuses, or in healthcare and manufacturing environments, Wi-Fi 6 provides the latest in advanced connectivity to spectators, students, patients, customers, guests, and employees alike.

Wi-Fi Alliance members will showcase new Wi-Fi 6 products at CES 2020, featuring increased speeds, lower latency, and greater capacity.

IoT and smart home devices expand with Wi-Fi 6

As Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman, Ajit Pai, noted in December 2019, “Wi-Fi has become a staple of our everyday life. It binds together all our phones and laptops. It has become a foundational technology for the Internet of Things.”

Wi-Fi 6 — the latest generation of Wi-Fi — has been increasingly chosen as the indoor Internet of Things (IoT) platform due to its significant economies of scale, ease of control, and manageability. Wi-Fi 6 brings even more benefits to IoT, as its high performance and low latency can easily connect more devices with diverse usage profiles, providing much needed connectivity for an anticipated 20.4 billion IoT devices by 2020. We expect Wi-Fi Alliance members to showcase IoT devices that rely on the increased efficiency and performance of Wi-Fi 6 to connect everything from wearables to refrigerators.

Wi-Fi 6 in automotive

Moving out of the home and onto the road, Wi-Fi Alliance members in the automotive space will showcase infotainment systems that rely on the increased efficiency of Wi-Fi 6. In 2019 Qualcomm announced Wi-Fi 6 for automotive, and Wi-Fi Alliance expects other automobile manufacturers and suppliers will take advantage of Wi-Fi 6’s increased speeds and performance for connected in-vehicle experiences.

Wi-Fi 6 innovation Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) applications

When it comes to AR or VR in the gaming world, next-generation wireless technology has been the missing link for the fluid immersion experience that users expect. In 2019, manufacturers began to release in-home Wi-Fi 6 hardware that will effectively fill that gap. As a result, new innovations in the gaming space will be on display that take full advantage of Wi-Fi 6’s impressive data speed and low latency capabilities. We expect many more AR/VR innovations leveraging Wi-Fi at CES 2020!

Additionally, more traditional sports – like football, baseball and soccer – have also taken advantage of Wi-Fi 6 to create more personalized and interactive experiences in the e-sports arena. For instance, in late 2019, Wi-Fi Alliance member Cisco announced a partnership with the NFL’s largest stadium, where it will install Wi-Fi 6 networking technology that will redefine the live event experience. The trend extends into college football as well, with Oklahoma University and West Texas A&M announcing they will also outfit their stadiums with Wi-Fi 6 technology.

Wi-Fi 6 is ready for 6 GHz

The FCC announced its intentions to open up 6 GHz unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi use, and regulators around the world are considering 6 GHz for Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi Alliance recently introduced new Wi-Fi 6E terminology to distinguish Wi-Fi 6 devices capable of 6 GHz operation. Wi-Fi 6E denotes a common industry name for Wi-Fi users to identify devices that will extend Wi-Fi 6 features and capabilities into 6 GHz – including improved performance, lower latency, and faster data rates. Wi-Fi Alliance members are ready to move into this spectrum quickly as it becomes available, and we expect Wi-Fi Alliance members to debut prototype Wi-Fi 6E devices at CES 2020.

Wi-Fi Alliance has created a CES member map to help discover the greatest Wi-Fi innovations across a variety of categories at CES 2020. Have a good show!

The statements and opinions by each Wi-Fi Alliance member and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions or views of Wi-Fi Alliance or any other member. Wi-Fi Alliance is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information provided by any member in posting to or commenting on this blog. Concerns should be directed to info@wi-fi.org.

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