It's hard to imagine our lives without WiFi. So many of our personal devices -- laptops, smartphones and home appliances -- rely on it, and it has become a part of our normal routines. Luckily, the next generation of WiFi technology is only getting better, which means it's destined to have an even greater impact on our everyday lifestyle.
Dr. Rajit Gadh from UCLA's School of Engineering explains that WiFi was actually discovered by accident. "Dr. John O'Sullivan was trying to build a device to get the radiowave information and try and reconstruct how many black holes explode," he says. "And today we have WiFi technology out of that blue-sky research."
In a nutshell, WiFi works by splitting a radio signal into many tiny signals. The signal is then sent off and reconstructed so that the original message can be retrieved. This multicarrier modulation creates a fast robust wireless networking solution, which is the basis of modern WiFi.
Now we are on the verge of 802.11AC, better known as 5G WiFi, which is three times faster than the current WiFi standards. It will offer improved reception and less network congestion, allowing for better connectivity and smoother roaming functionality.
WiFi technology is already being used in the home in simple and complex ways. In the future, however, home network systems will be much more common. Appliances, TVs, lights, window treatments and more can already be hooked up to and controlled by WiFi panels, so 5G advancements will only improve what is currently available, and expand the possibilities of home integration.
So, if you have already embraced what WiFi offers, get ready. In the near future, the technology will be even more powerful and, therefore, even more ubiquitous.