AC Wi-Fi has been around for a few years now it’s in many many routers but there is actually a new protocol called 802.11ad which is in use in some new routers. Now I don’t think this new protocol is going to replace N or AC anytime soon i would consider this more of a special-purpose protocol but it does have some very unique abilities that i think are going to be game-changing potentially.
What ad Wi-Fi is compared to what we have now?
So the first one we have now mostly is wireless N which uses 2.4 gigahertz and five gigahertz then we also have wireless AC which only uses five gigahertz and is significantly faster than wireless N but now the new one is ad which actually uses 60 gigahertz frequency.
This much higher frequency has some advantages but also some disadvantages as well.
First of all ad is much faster obviously compared to AC which has a theoretical max about 1.3 gigabits per second ad has a theoretical maximum about 4.6 gigabits per second and because it uses 60 gigahertz which is very uncommon for other wireless devices that means that there’s going to be very little interference with other devices so there’s going to be much less latency.
Now you might be thinking why the heck would you need 4.6 gigabits per second that is too much speed I would never be able to use it.
For general-purpose Wi-Fi i do not think ad would be very useful especially considering the number one disadvantage which is it is very short range.
In fact, it’s 60 gigahertz that frequency really can’t even pass through walls so to get the ad speed even you would have to have it out in the open you wouldn’t be able to put it in a closet or anything like that it would have to be in line of sight in the same room.
That kind of high wireless speed does have other very useful purposes.
Specifically Wireless VR virtual reality that is what I think this type of AD protocol is going to be used for in the near future because anyone who has tried good vr meaning in oculus rift or a vibe knows that virtual reality is amazing and is going to be huge very soon and it’s already very popular but the number-one annoying the biggest drawback for VR at that level is the huge wired tether.
Sure there’s mobile vr they use your phone but i’m not talking about that I’m talking about proper vr that connects to your computer use the high-power GPU to push high resolution high frame rate and amazing graphics which you can’t do on a phone and really requires a massive amount of bandwidth to put through that wire you just can’t do wirelessly you’re gonna need a wire with it.
That’s going to be even more true when they start increasing the resolution of these VR headsets their goal is to get at least 4K vr which is kind of used even more data.
However if we were able to get to true wireless virtual reality it would be a game-changer it will be incredibly immersive and the wireless signal wouldn’t even have to go through walls you would just have to have it in the room you’re playing it also if they were to go with the ad protocol you basically wouldn’t have to worry about interference at all for two reasons.
First of all, as i mentioned basically nothing else uses 60 gigahertz signal so there wouldn’t be anything else to interfere with in the first place and second even if there was something to interfere with it it can’t go through walls so nothing would be able to get into interfere anyway unless it was something else in that same exact room.
So you have this higher frequency and lower interference which would mean low latency and you would have much higher speeds which are all critical if you want to get wireless vr.
I don’t think VR is the only application here.
In the future most devices are going to have this type of wireless technology maybe not ad but something similar.
For example, maybe TVs will all have some sort of wireless module in it that wouldn’t need any wires except for power of course.
So instead of having to plug every device into the TV with a different wire running out of ports on the TV every device including the TV would have the same wireless module and they could all connect to the TV wirelessly you could connect as many things as you want or perhaps you could do something where the router is like a central hub and you would plug all video devices into that like your cable box and then you could have wired base stations go to every room which broadcast that signal in every room and then any device could access that same video feed from any of the devices so you don’t have to have one in every room it just plugs into the same one in the central hub and then you can access it from anywhere.
Now that might all sound like it’s a long way off but I wouldn’t be so sure I mean this protocol is pretty new and is capable of uncompressed video for example.
So it’s just a matter of making stuff like this this type of wireless transmission cheap enough and small enough to fit into most devices.
I think eventually what will happen is Wireless will be fast enough to be used in most cases it would just be the default instead of wired.
Now wired obviously wouldn’t go anywhere especially if you don’t really care about portability but you also need reliability and obviously power is going to be another issue i think for a while we are going to be limited by battery technology but with more and more devices being connected everyday extremely fast wireless is going to be very important.
As for which routers do actually support ad though there’s only a few on the market right now Netgear for example recently announced their Nighthawk x10 which does do ad but it’s a whopping 500 bucks not exactly entry-level.
So clearly this is just the beginning but it is exciting.
We will start to see VR headsets using high-speed Wi-Fi I really do pretty soon maybe even in the next generation who knows.