Intel® Wireless Docking is most definitely here, as proven by HP’s recent launch of their HP Elite x2 1011 and HP Advanced Wireless Dock, and Dell’s launch of their Latitiude 7250, 7450, 5250, 5550 and Dell Wireless Dock. Intel® Wireless Docking works, and it provides a truly wireless docking experience, one that Intel should be (and is) proud of. But why was it based on Intel® Wireless Gigabit technology? What is it about WiGig that makes Intel’s Wireless Docking so powerful and effective?
Before Intel® Wireless Docking came along, there were ways to remove cables from your docking setup. Wireless keyboards and mice have been around for years. WiFi networks meant you could transfer data wirelessly, so things like external hard drives and printers could be connected to your network. And for your display there was this technology known as Intel® Wireless Display. You could even add some wireless speakers. By combining WiFi, Bluetooth, maybe some RF and even a little infrared, you could achieve a mostly wireless docking configuration, or at least eliminate quite a few wires from your desktop. Doing things this way would be possible, but it presents a number of problems for the average user.
Let’s start with ports; many of these devices require USB dongles. The typical wireless keyboard and mouse combo uses one. So do many wireless speakers. Add a wireless headset and you’ve just occupied most or all of the ports on your laptop. Then there’s the issue of data transfer. Yes you can attach a storage device to your network and access your data that way, but that’s only effective for smaller amounts of data, so if you need to transfer a lot of data, be prepared to wait.
Finally, the biggest problem: your display. There are wireless display solutions available, but these products are designed to send video to a TV or display for passive viewing from a distance, like a presentation in a conference room, or watching a movie at home. There’s an important difference between passively watching a movie from your couch and actively focusing on a monitor that’s just a couple of feet away. When you’re staring at that monitor it has to be responsive and sharp. There’s no room for any lag or delay. The “quality of service” must be extremely high. Intel’s research into docking solutions found that aside from the obvious desire to eliminate wires, the most important thing for both IT decision makers and business end users was that the solution have “wire-like” responsiveness and performance.
This is where WiGig comes in. With throughput that’s five to ten times higher than the fastest WiFi, its built-in video codecs, and its ability to work in very dense office environments, WiGig technology is a perfect fit for usages like wireless docking. It can handle larger amounts of data with greater speed. For peripherals this translates into faster data transmission, so external hard drives, video cameras, thumb drives, USB headsets, printers, and other devices can perform at wire-speed. That’s important, yes, but the most important benefit is the display. With such high transfer rates, display data can be transmitted with less compression, which translates into increased picture quality, improved color, higher resolutions, and, above all, no lag. WiGig offers a wireless display that easily rivals wired connections. And because any docking configuration is within two to four feet…well within WiGig’s effective range…WiGig performance remains solid and consistent. WiGig even supports dual monitor configurations at full 1080P resolution with 60fps frame rate, while still leaving ample bandwidth for peripherals.
Building an entire solution around WiGig makes sense too; it has the power and performance to handle data from your displays, keyboard & mouse, web camera, printer, hard drive, speakers, headset…all at the same time. WiGig can do the heavy lifting that other wireless technologies can’t. This, above all, is why Intel engineers designed Intel® Wireless Docking around WiGig. They were able to create a clean, simple, elegant solutions. No more filling up USB ports with dongles, or working to configure multiple solutions. Instead you have a single box that does it all and does it well, creating a vastly improved user experience. To see it in action, take a look at this video from Hewlett Packard.
Both Hewlett-Packard and Dell have released their Intel® Wireless Docking solutions to a ready and waiting public. Moving forward, Intel is driving deployment and working on improving an already impressive product and experience. Coming soon, Intel ® Wireless Display will be integrated into monitors to clean up the desk even more, and Intel engineers are even exploring the integration of Rezense wireless charging to create an entirely wireless experience.
Would you like to know more about Intel’s User Experience Initiatives? Visit intel.com/experiences to learn more