Wi-Fi Will Own the Home Network

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.