WiFi And Home Networking Triggering New Consumer Applications

Going out on a pretty obvious limb is research firm BWCS, saying what everyone’s been saying for quite some time: WiFi in the home is going to lead to additional consumer applications as various devices can be more easily linked together. This prediction seems even more obvious coming out directly after CES where this is exactly what plenty of people were talking about. The bigger issue isn’t whether or not these WiFi-enabled devices will start showing up on shelves, but whether or not people will actually buy and use them. It’s nice to think about all the different products you can WiFi-enable, but if they offer no real benefit to the consumer or are too complex to use, they won’t go very far. The BWCS prediction also claims that “differing 802.11 standards and Wi-Fi’s battle with Bluetooth will need to be overcome before the networked home can fully take off.” I disagree on both accounts. I don’t see what the differing 802.11 standards have to do with anything – as it seems pretty clear which path the technology is heading down. It doesn’t look like anyone is suddenly betting on 802.11a products to be the home networking solution of the future. 802.11g offerings are backwards compatible with b – which is what most people use. So, what’s the problem that needs to be “overcome”? Furthermore, I still don’t see what the issue is with Bluetooth. Bluetooth is useful for some things for very short range connections, and that’s what it will be used for. WiFi continues to make more sense for overall home networking.

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