Wi-Fi TimeSync Will Bring Wireless Devices Together At Last

Advertisement
Advertisement

Remember when Bluetooth speakers first made their debut?  It's likely that during this time many years ago, people were looking forward to owning multiple speakers that they could place throughout the house, all operating in sync and playing the tunes we love dancing to. Alas the ability to pair speakers together only remains with a scant few, expensive units out there, unless you venture your way into other types of audio technology throughout the home. Google's own Chromecast Audio provides the ability to sync multiple units together for multi-room playback, but the Wi-Fi Alliance has been prepping a more universal solution to an age-old problem.

Announcing Wi-Fi TimeSync, a new protocol which does exactly what it suggests. Linking multiple devices together via sub-microsecond clock synchronization, Wi-Fi TimeSync provides devices the ability to stay in sync with one another so that any data necessary can be synchronized across multiple devices at once. The Wi-Fi Alliance's first examples of what Wi-Fi TimeSync could make unbelievably useful is, of course, wireless speakers. This universally supported protocol will be available for new products making their debut at CES and future events. Current devices won't be able to receive the protocol via firmware updates simply because it requires a new chipset to properly operate, one that's scheduled to roll out sometime later this year, or possibly next year. No one is counting out the option of a backwards compatible solution being made available, but we're not seeing such a device just yet.

The Wi-Fi Alliance estimates that there are an average of 8 connected audio and video devices in homes, and it's in this sort of climate that the technology could find itself receiving quick adoption rates.  The Wi-Fi Alliance isn't stopping with just consumer level audio-playback devices though, it's also citing lots of use in commercial and other spaces worldwide, including use in medical facilities to link machines together in timing, commercial uses for signage and other types of displays or audio, and pretty much anything else you might be able to imagine. What's important to note here is that the Wi-Fi Alliance is essentially the entire tech industry, and by bringing forward such a protocol that's universally accepted, we'll definitely be seeing significant proliferation of connected devices worldwide in the very near future.

Advertisement