The case for Wi-Fi in the Internet of Things

Whether it’s the Connected Home or the Internet of Things, many everyday home appliances and devices will soon feature some form of Internet connectivity. What form should that connectivity take? We sat down with Edgar Figueroa, President and CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance, to discuss his belief that Wi-Fi is the clear choice.

Options are plentiful when it comes to the Internet, but some are easily disregarded for most IoT designs. Ethernet and other wired solutions require additional equipment or more cabling than what is typically found in even a modern home. Cellular connectivity is pointless for stationary home goods and still too power-hungry for wearable items. Proprietary and purpose-built solutions, like ZigBee, are either too closed off or require parallel paths to solutions that are already in our homes.

President and CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance Edgar Figueroa.

Bluetooth makes a pretty good case for itself, though inconsistent user experiences remain the norm for several reasons. The latest Bluetooth specifications provide very low power data transfers and have very low overhead for maintaining a connection. The result is that the power profile for the connection is low whether you’re transacting data or not. Connection speeds are modest compared to the alternatives. But the biggest detractor for Bluetooth is inconsistency. Bluetooth has always felt kludgy; it’s an incomplete solution that will suffice until it improves. It’s helpful that Bluetooth devices can often have their performance, reliability, and features improved upon through software updates, but the experience can still remain frustrating.

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via Ars Technica http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/index/~3/FOwno2Erl0s/

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