Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Could Wi-Fi(R) Save Your Marriage?

Wi-Fi goes beyond wirelessly connecting computers -- it also connects people. A new lifestyle survey timed for the holiday season makes it clear that while enhanced productivity is one good reason to get Wi-Fi, enhanced relationships just might be the most compelling benefit of all.

Approximately 1,000 Americans from all income levels and walks of life were polled by survey.com for the Wi-Fi Alliance from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1.

When surveyed, 65 percent of respondents said Wi-Fi technology helps them stay in touch with friends and family via tools such as instant messaging and e-mail, and 53 percent said that Wi-Fi gives them freedom to socialize online. Moreover, 46 percent of those surveyed said they agreed that the time gained from using Wi-Fi allows them to dedicate more time to marriage or personal relationships.

Among other findings: 68 percent said Wi-Fi technology helps them become more productive at home, doing things like online shopping and banking; and 61 percent said Wi-Fi technology helps them free up time to do other things they want to do.

"We have seen considerable anecdotal evidence that Wi-Fi can change the way we work, play and live, and these results give us considerable insight into how wireless networking can improve daily life," said Wi-Fi Alliance Managing Director Frank Hanzlik. "As Wi-Fi is now shipped in millions of products and deployed in millions of homes, businesses and hotspots worldwide, the technology has moved beyond the realm of a computer feature. Wi-Fi has fast become a cultural phenomenon."

For those shopping for Wi-Fi equipment, seeing the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo on a package or store display instills confidence. 60 percent were more likely to purchase a device labeled Wi-Fi CERTIFIED(TM) over a similar but uncertified device. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo indicates that the equipment has passed rigorous interoperability testing conducted by the Wi-Fi Alliance.

This year, only six years after the Wi-Fi Alliance coined the term, Wi-Fi was added to the Merriam-Webster New Collegiate Dictionary.