The Wi-Fi Alliance has approved the 802.11ah Wi-Fi standard dubbed ‘HaLow’, which promises improved range and better wall penetration, while simultaneously using less power. The new standard has already been seen as a key component towards the growth of the Internet of Things and connected home devices.
Companies developing IoT devices have long criticised the Wi-Fi Alliance for not providing the framework for low-power devices; with bulbs, door sensors and cameras all needing to use significant power to send data long distances to remote hubs or routers.
That’s why many have ditched Wi-Fi compatibility for other networking protocols, including KNX, Z-Wave and Zigbee.
Many of the same features common with Wi-Fi devices will be present on those supporting the ‘HaLow’ protocol – including IP connectivity, Wi-Fi grade security and interoperability with other Wi-Fi-enabled devices.
Wi-Fi ‘HaLow’ utilises the unlicensed 900MHz – similar to Z-Wave’s approach, which also uses a similar frequency.
The Wi-Fi alliance says that the new standard “will enable a variety of new power-efficient use cases in the smart home, connected car and digital healthcare, as well as industrial, retail, agriculture and smart city environments.”