Wi-Fi Alliance Offers New Membership Option to Attract IoT Companies
Companies jumping into the Internet of Things and smart-home technologies will now be able to connect to the WiFi certification program.
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If you’ve recently been in the market for a router or your work entails using IT equipment, that WiFi certification probably looks familiar. It’s the seal of approval handed out by the Wi-Fi Alliance as part of its certification program, and it’s helped maintain interoperability standards across the plethora of devices that rely on WiFi connections.
And now the WiFi Alliance has announced that its certification program will extend to the growing world of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Because the program is available exclusively to alliance members, the organization has launched an “implementer” membership specifically for companies dabbling in the IoT.
The IoT device landscape is a connectivity Wild West, growing rapidly but lacking much of the certification infrastructure that other technology categories have. And with about 26 billion to 38.5 billion devices set to be connected to one another by 2020 (depending on whether you choose the numbers from a Siemens study or Juniper Research), the demand for interconnected devices is clear.
“Manufacturers in the Internet of Things and smart-home industries increasingly rely on WiFi to connect their products, and interoperability for those products remains as important as ever,” Wi-Fi Alliance President and CEO Edgar Figueroa said in a statement. “The implementer membership will ensure that the terrific WiFi user experience of the last 15 years extends to these new device categories and market segments, and that buyers will only need to look for the WiFi Certified seal of approval when they shop.”
The alliance is concerned not just with interoperability but also with the data-security implications of more and more linked household devices, particularly ones that previously have not been connected to one another.
“Implementer members, along with all Wi-Fi Alliance members who ensure their products are WiFi certified, can be confident that their devices contain the highest level of government-grade, WPA2 security,” the alliance told FierceWirelessTech.
The membership is one of several new initiatives the alliance has embarked on. It’s also developing of a better method of connecting and configuring devices that lack a display or input mechanisms, and it’s tackling power-consumption use cases for wearables and industrial automation.