At CES today the Wi-Fi Alliance introduced Wi-Fi TimeSync to deliver precise time synchronization between multiple Wi-Fi devices.
With an average of nearly eight connected devices per home, there is increasing demand for whole-home networked audio and video systems. This feature would allow multiple devices to precisely synchronize audio and video playback , allowing effective coordination between multiple devices such as smart speakers.
Wi-Fi TimeSync provides sub-microsecond clock synchronization between devices, benefiting scenarios including high-fidelity audio streaming to multiple speakers or multi-screen video experiences in automotive infotainment. The result is a wireless rendering—free from jitter, drift, or echo—that delivers precise video, audio, and data output. Devices can use Wi-Fi TimeSync to support wireless in-room, multichannel audio and video capabilities, and deliver high-performance device synchronization across the user’s entire Wi-Fi coverage area.
While Home entertainment is the key application for Wi-Fi TimeSync, but many industrial, healthcare, automotive, and IoT applications will also benefit from more tightly coupled coordination between Wi-Fi devices.
Uses for Wi-Fi TimeSync include:
- Home theater systems: Connect various displays and speakers to provide immersive audio and video experiences, without drift or sync issues.
- Sound systems: Couple multiple speakers to produce top-quality surround sound.
- Recording systems: Simplify audio and video editing processes by recording content using multiple synchronized microphones or wireless cameras.
- Multi-sensor coordination: Provide patients with improved clinical support and response time using networks of tightly coordinated wearable devices.
- Equipment management: Coordinate actions on a manufacturing assembly line; collect data and perform equipment diagnostics or analysis.
- Distributed process control: Mobilize a fleet of tractors with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ controllers to enable meticulously sequenced functions in the field.
- Precision output: Synchronize motion control sensors to ensure that each controller performs its function to the same clock exactly when it should.
- Camera systems: Synchronize on-vehicle cameras to assist in safely managing difficult vehicle maneuvers.
- Infotainment systems: Experience perfect playback from wireless headphones and rear seat entertainment systems.
“Increasing demand for today’s high-performance wireless audio/video products has made it more important for multiple devices to operate with precision timing,” said Christian Kim, senior analyst, IHS Markit. “Time synchronized Wi-Fi connectivity will help drive the audio/video technology market by enabling unrestricted mobility with high-quality performance.”
Wi-Fi TimeSync will build on the latest Wi-Fi Alliance technologies, bringing enhanced capabilities to the Wi-Fi Alliance portfolio.
“Wi-Fi is becoming ubiquitous in an increasing number of device categories as it expands from an internet connectivity tool into a dependable enabler of high-quality, wireless entertainment experiences,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi TimeSync enables interconnectivity between various rich, media components and also entire systems. This enhanced capability will create an excellent, fully-synchronized media experience with Wi-Fi devices.”
No products using the new technology has been announced yet.