Major Home Appliance Manufacturers Recommend Wi-Fi® for Smart Home Solutions

Latest-generation Wi-Fi tops list of recommended communication standards for smart energy appliances

Nov 09, 2010, 08:00 ET from Wi-Fi Alliance

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Wi-Fi technology based on the 802.11n standard received the highest ranking in a recent report from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), a trade group representing more than 95 percent of the household appliances sold in the United States.  Wi-Fi technology – already a network of choice in an estimated 201 million households worldwide (1) – has now been selected by major appliance manufacturers as a leading smart appliance communications technology.

Efficient home appliances conserve energy and when connected with technology like Wi-Fi, contribute to a successful smart grid.  Connecting enables consumers to manage their own energy use and allows appliances to communicate with energy management systems, whether in-home or at the energy service provider.  AHAM evaluated a variety of communication technologies on factors such as security, forward/backward compatibility, interoperability, market acceptance, availability, and ease of use, maintenance and replacement.  

The purpose of the AHAM assessment was to advance progress on setting standards for smart appliance communications. The use of common standards for smart appliances will help ensure products are capable of functioning anywhere that a smart grid infrastructure is available, so consumers won't have to replace or modify their appliances if they move.

"Wi-Fi is an ideal communications technology for smart grid networking," said Wi-Fi Alliance technical director Greg Ennis.  "It's already being used in millions of homes around the globe, and connecting smart appliances is another next step towards the vision of a Wi-Fi-enabled digital home."

The AHAM assessment also gave top ranking to ZigBee Alliance's Smart Energy Profile 2.0 (SEP 2.0) application protocol, which will also run over Wi-Fi networks.  SEP 2.0 applications manage the data being transferred between the smart appliance and the energy management device outputting the data to the end user.

The Wi-Fi Alliance has formed liaisons with ZigBee Alliance and the HomePlug® Powerline Alliance, two other organizations providing specifications for the smart grid.  Work performed in these liaisons will help facilitate interoperability between devices which operate on Wi-Fi, HomePlug Green PHY and ZigBee networks, using SEP 2.0 application protocols.

About the Wi-Fi Alliance

The Wi-Fi Alliance is a global non-profit industry association of hundreds of leading companies devoted to the proliferation of Wi-Fi technology across devices and market segments. With technology development, market building, and regulatory programs, the Wi-Fi Alliance has enabled widespread adoption of Wi-Fi worldwide.

The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ program was launched in March 2000.  It provides a widely-recognized designation of interoperability and quality, and it helps to ensure that Wi-Fi enabled products deliver the best user experience.  The Wi-Fi Alliance has completed more than 8,000 product certifications to date, encouraging the expanded use of Wi-Fi products and services in new and established markets.

Wi-Fi®, Wi-Fi Alliance®, WMM®, Wi-Fi Protected Access® (WPA), the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo, the Wi-Fi logo, the Wi-Fi ZONE logo, and the Wi-Fi Protected Setup logo are registered trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance; Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™, Wi-Fi Direct™, Wi-Fi Protected Setup™, Wi-Fi Multimedia™, and the Wi-Fi Alliance logo are trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

(1) Kurt Scherf, Parks Associates, "Networks in the Home: Global Growth; A Report for the Wi-Fi Alliance".

SOURCE Wi-Fi Alliance