The WiFi Alliance, which includes big names such as Apple and Microsoft, along with hundreds of other large technology companies, is ushering in an era of connecting with multiple devices instantly, it is claimed.

Aware allows Wi-Fi-enabled products to discover and communicate nearby devices, applications or information – all without needing an Internet or cellular connection.

It is like Wi-Fi Direct or the iBeacons in retail stores, although could have a wider implication on the industry than existing technologies currently have.

Applications that utilise Aware will continuously broadcast and receive information to and from other devices in a user’s vicinity.

Users should still have the power to disable Aware if they have privacy concerns however.

This push by the WiFi Alliance puts it directly against competing technologies such as Bluetooth low-energy and GPS ‘beacons’, which send push notifications when a user enters a certain store or a general area.

Another concern for users other than privacy could be the effect Aware has on the phone’s battery life – after all, existing Wi-Fi already drains the battery if not turned off.

Edgar Figueroa, president of the Wi-Fi Alliance, says that users need not worry, as Aware will be more power efficient than traditional Wi-Fi.

So what use cases will Aware have?

Both Facebook and LinkedIn are tipped to be rolling out Apps with Aware built-in, with Facebook likely to use the technology to alert users when friends are nearby or when a store they have entered has a sale on.

Neither company has announced a release date for these updated Apps, but Edgar says that they will launch by the end of the year.

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