You may not realize that there is a Wi-Fi Alliance, a self-described "worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi."
Now that you know they exist, here's some more good news: They are about to transform the Wi-Fi we all depend on into something significantly faster. The new system has been hotly anticipated since at least 2014, and it should finally be mass-produced in 2017.
The organization will start outfitting phones, computers and tablets with a new technology called "WiGig." The technology has been creeping into various devices, but Alliance representatives believe that it will soon become a household name.
To give you an idea how much data WiGig processes, consider this: At best, the Wi-Fi in your device probably processes a maximum of 4.5 gbps, or billions of bits per second. WiGig will process 8 gbps, or nearly twice the volume.
The world is starving for fast Wi-Fi connections, thanks to services like Fire TV, sophisticated online games, and streaming music and podcasts. WiGig is also designed to accommodate the newest impending craze, VR equipment. Indeed, broken-in technologies like 4K video are often challenging for regular Wi-Fi to handle. WiGig was designed to keep up with these data-heavy trends.
There's one big catch: The new WiGig system will have a total range of about 33 feet. This will surprise many users who are accustomed to accessing their Wi-Fi on different floors of their houses, or even out on their porch swing. Some people can catch their workplace Wi-Fi while standing across the street from their offices. WiGig won't have that same capability and will work best for people who don't move around too much.
The new system has been dubbed "AD," versus the current Wi-Fi system, "AC." While the name and configurations are difficult to explain, more consumers will be seeking out AD in the coming months.