Wi-Fi devices are set to cross the 10 billion mark this month, with the Wi-Fi Alliance building a new feature to make it easier for users to receive information.
Wi-Fi Aware runs continuously in the background, enabling connected devices to discover new applications. It then offers the user to connect to Wi-Fi via traditional methods.
The alliance said its uses could include the likes of sharing media, online gaming and P2P messaging. It gave the example of a consumer downloading a shopping app, which then displays their preferred brands nearby.
The application has been designed to minimise power consumption and work in crowded areas.
Edgar Figueroa, President and CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance, said: "“We know users want to use Wi-Fi as much as possible for social and local applications, and Wi-Fi Aware is an exciting breakthrough that makes it easier to know what interesting services are nearby before making a connection.
"We’re excited about how Wi-Fi Aware will transform the experience of initiating proximity-based services, and its potential to enable a range of peer-to-peer service experiences.”
He added: "We’ve only begun to imagine the uses for Wi-Fi Aware. Of course, people will use the technology to find video game opponents, photo sharing opportunities, and sources for location-specific information. We are also excited about Wi-Fi Aware’s potential in a range of services yet-to-be conceived.”
The alliance also released new data from ABI Research, which said the number of Wi-Fi devices will pass the 10 billion mark this month. By the end of last year, 9.98 billion devices had been sold globally, with 4.5 billion products in use.
Mobile phones, tablets and e-readers comprised 64 percent of the 2.3 billion Wi-Fi devices that were sold in 2014.
ABI Research research director Phil Solis said: “We expect strong growth to continue, because of the many Wi-Fi technology advancements ahead and new categories such as automotive, smart home, and industrial IoT, where Wi-Fi will play a big role.”