WiGig delivers super-fast 1Gbit home network speeds, we test the forthcoming tech
There's something inherently boring about wireless technology. Even people in wireless technology tell us this. But - sound the klaxon, just to wake you up - it's really important stuff and a lot of us would struggle to live without it.
At this year's Intel Developers Forum in San Francisco we got to take a look at WiGig - the Wireless Gigabit Alliance for its full name - a Wi-Fi complementary transfer technology that might see the end of mucking around with USB sticks, SD cards and the like.
WiGig isn't a replacement for Wi-Fi. It's a short-range tech that can operate to around 10 metres in distance. When devices with the necessary first wave of inbuilt WiGig make it to test phase at the end of 2013 - that's just Panasonic's time scale, so we're told - it'll be possible to share files immediately from device to device at around 1Gbit/sec. In real-terms that's up to 125MB/sec, so a 2GB movie ought to copy over in around 16 seconds. None too bad.
We experimented with two adapted Surface tablets, both with WiGig installed, to see if the speeds ran true. At present the tech takes a few seconds to initialise before transfer, after which we were seeing real world speeds of over 1Gbit/sec. Nice.
But it's finnicky at the moment. We couldn't get longer-distance transfers to work properly and devices needed to face one another to work at best possible speeds. It felt a bit too NFC-esque for our liking.
Once it gets tidied up and operates seamlessly the tech has a lot of application. Imagine you have a 1TB WiGig-enabled drive full of movies. Rather than storing any of them on your limited-space smart device, it'd instead be possible to stream files over the localised network. Screen sharing, file sharing, and - once it's sorted out properly - without the faff sounds good to us.