It might be one of the great problems gamers face. Start a session of Angry Birds or Words With Friends while out on the road, and then get home and wonder why they're playing on a smartphone when there's a big television sitting right there to play on.
But recently, Silicon Image (News - Alert) started pushing a new standard around its new WirelessHD chip, designed to fix that problem for good.
Silicon Image's WirelessHD is meant to treat the "I have a big screen at home" problem by allowing users to send a large quantity of data from their smartphones to their larger screen. WirelessHD uses the 60GHz spectrum, which allows it to send huge amounts of data very rapidly – speed on a 60GHz connection can be measured in multiple gigabits per second – but not very far, and only on a direct line of sight with the receiver.
60GHz can't pass through walls or people very well, so the development of WirelessHD took quite a bit of work to ensure that the signal could actually reach receivers without being accidentally interrupted. Considering that Silicon Image was largely responsible for the development of the HDMI standard, it's a safe bet that they know what they're doing.
But Silicon Image's WirelessHD, as impressive as it sounds, already has competition. Intel and Broadcom (News - Alert) created the WiGig alliance back in 2009 to develop a new kind of Wi-Fi connectivity that used the 60GHz spectrum to improve Wi-Fi speeds. Silicon Image, for its part, believes the two technologies can live side-by-side in the spectrum without incident, and for its sake, hopefully it’s right.
It's hard, however, to deny the effectiveness of such an idea. Leave aside the admittedly decent gaming concept for a minute and consider other applications. The idea of using a smartphone as a set-top box suddenly takes on a whole new relevance when it can work with HDMI-quality video sent directly to the screen. Some have even suggested gaming PCs can add WirelessHD capability as a way to further appeal to their target market, and since the WirelessHD chip only runs about $10, some have actually already begun doing this.
But with WirelessHD now sufficiently small to fit in a smartphone, it only opens up the field of possibilities wider.
Whether WirelessHD will catch on as a standard remains to be seen. But WirelessHD certainly has enough applications to make it worth a second look to virtually any device maker that can plug their device into a television, and with that kind of variety available, may well make this a standard sooner than some would expect.
Edited by Braden Becker